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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Athens, Georgia » U.S. National Poultry Research Center » Exotic & Emerging Avian Viral Diseases Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #369042

Research Project: Intervention Strategies to Prevent and Control Disease Outbreaks Caused by Emerging Strains of Avian Influenza Viruses

Location: Exotic & Emerging Avian Viral Diseases Research

Title: Recombinant hemagglutinin glycoproteins provide insight into binding to host cells by H5 influenza viruses in wild and domestic birds

Author
item JERRY, CARMEN - University Of Georgia
item STALLKNECHT, DAVID - University Of Georgia
item LEYSON, CHRISTINA - Orise Fellow
item BERGHAUS, ROY - University Of Georgia
item JORDAN, BRIAN - University Of Georgia
item Pantin-Jackwood, Mary
item HITCHENER, GAVIN - Cornell University - New York
item FRANÇA, MONIQUE - University Of Georgia

Submitted to: Virology Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/3/2020
Publication Date: 8/15/2020
Citation: Jerry, C., Stallknecht, D., Leyson, C., Berghaus, R., Jordan, B., Pantin Jackwood, M.J., Hitchener, G., França, M. 2020. Recombinant hemagglutinin glycoproteins provide insight into binding to host cells by H5 influenza viruses in wild and domestic birds. Virology Journal. 550:8-20. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.virol.2020.08.001.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.virol.2020.08.001

Interpretive Summary: Highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses (HPAIs) remain a threat to poultry worldwide. Clade 2.3.4.4, H5 subtype HPAIV’s have caused devastating effects across wild and domestic bird populations in recent years. Avian influenza virus binds to the host tissues by it's hemagglutinin (HA) glycoprotein. This study investigates the differences in the intensity and distribution of the HA binding of a clade 2.3.4.4 H5 HPAIV compared to a H5 low pathogenic avian influenza virus (LPAIV) in tissues of different poultry species, shorebirds, ducks and terrestrial birds . Via protein histochemistry, the degree of HA binding in tissues was quantified by median area of binding score (MAB). High MABs were observed with HPAIV H5 HA in the respiratory and intestinal tracts across numerous bird species; however, for the LPAIV H5 HA high MABs were only observed in Mallards and turkeys. The HPAIV H5 HA MAB scores were highest in the respiratory tract of Ring-billed gulls, all ducks, Canada geese, and Cooper’s hawk. For intestine, HPAIV H5 HA MAB were highest in Laughing-gull, Mallards, specific pathogen free (SPF) layer chickens, and turkeys. The LPAIV H5 HA MAB scores were highest in the respiratory tract of Mallards and turkeys. This study demonstrates that clade 2.3.4.4 HPAIV H5 HA has marked tissue tropism across a variety of bird species compared to the LPAIV H5 HA and confirms high susceptibility of turkeys to influenza A virus infections.

Technical Abstract: Clade 2.3.4.4, H5 subtype highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses (HPAIV’s) have caused devastating effects across wild and domestic bird populations. To investigate differences in the intensity and distribution of the hemagglutinin (HA) glycoprotein binding of a clade 2.3.4.4 H5 HPAIV compared to a H5 low pathogenic (LPAIV) virus in tissues of varied avian species, recombinant HA was generated using gene sequences from a HPAIV, A/Northern pintail/Washington/40964/2014(H5N2) and a LPAIV, A/mallard/MN/410/2000(H5N2) . Via protein histochemistry, the degree of HA binding in respiratory and intestinal tracts, and cloacal bursa, as quantified by median area of binding score (MAB), was evaluated in tissues from poultry species, shorebirds, ducks and terrestrial birds. Differences in MAB were observed between the HPAIV and LPAIV H5 HA’s. High MABs were observed with HPAIV H5 HA in the respiratory and intestinal tracts across numerous bird species; however, for the LPAIV H5 HA high MABs were only observed in Mallards and turkeys. The HPAIV H5 HA MAB scores were highest in the respiratory tract of Ring-billed gulls, all ducks, Canada geese, and Cooper’s hawk. For intestine, HPAIV H5 HA MAB were highest in Laughing-gull, Mallards, specific pathogen free (SPF) layer chickens, and turkeys. The LPAIV H5 HA MAB scores were highest in the respiratory tract of Mallards and turkeys. Mallards had the strongest overall combined, respiratory and intestinal HA binding scores for both the LPAIV H5 HA and HPAIV H5 HAs. This study demonstrates that clade 2.3.4.4 HPAIV H5 HA has marked tissue tropism across a variety of bird species compared to the LPAIV H5 HA and confirms high susceptibility of turkeys to influenza A virus infections. These findings are largely supportive of previously published results from experimental trials, and outcomes of natural disease outbreaks with both HPAIV and LPAIV H5 IAV involving wild and poultry bird species.