Home Acta Virologica 2015 Acta Virologica Vol.59, No.4, p.350-359, 2015

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Founded: 1957
ISSN 0001-723X
E-ISSN 1336-2305

Published in English

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Acta Virologica Vol.59, No.4, p.350-359, 2015

Title: Immune response of mice to non-adapted avian influenza A virus

Abstract: Human infections with avian influenza A viruses (IAVs) without or with clinical symptoms of disease were recently reported from several continents, mainly in high risk groups of people, who came into the contact with infected domestic birds or poultry. It was shown that avian IAVs are able to infect humans directly without previous adaptation, however, their ability to replicate and to cause a disease in this new host can differ. No spread of these avian IAVs among humans has been documented until now, except for one case described in Netherlands in the February of 2003 in people directly involved in handling IAV (H7N7)-infected poultry. The aim of our work was to examine whether a low pathogenic avian IAV can induce a virus-specific immune response of biological relevancy, in spite of its restricted replication in mammals. As a model we used a low pathogenic virus A/Duck/Czechoslovakia/1956 (H4N6) (A/Duck), which replicated well in MDCK cells and produced plaques on cell monolayers, but was unable to replicate productively in mouse lungs. We examined how the immune system of mice responds to the intranasal application of this non-adapted avian virus. Though we did not prove the infectious virus in lungs of mice following A/Duck application even after its multiple passaging in mice, we detected virus-specific vRNA till day 8 post infection. Moreover, we detected virus-specific mRNA and de novo synthesized viral nucleoprotein (NP) and membrane protein (M1) in lungs of mice on day 2 and 4 after exposure to A/Duck. Virus-specific antibodies in sera of these mice were detectable by ELISA already after a single intranasal dose of A/Duck virus. Not only antibodies specific to the surface glycoprotein hemagglutinin (HA) were induced, but also antibodies specific to the NP and M1 of IAV were detected by Western blot and their titers increased after the second exposure of mice to this virus. Importantly, antibodies neutralizing virus A/Duck were proved in mouse immune sera after the second dose of virus and a slight increase of mRNA expression of immune mediators tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and IP10 has been observed in lungs of these mice 48 hr after the infection. These observations correspond to the limited replication ability of the virus in mice and provided an important information about its ability to induce virus-specific antibodies, including those neutralizing virus, even without the previous virus adaptation to the new mammalian host. Such antibodies could consequently influence the immune potential of exposed individuals and their defensive capability against the newly emerged, even more virulent IAV.

Keywords: avian influenza A virus; virus-neutralizing antibodies; cytokine expression; virus replication in mice; viral protein synthesis
Published online: 06-Dec-2015
Year: 2015, Volume: 59, Issue: 4 Page From: 350, Page To: 359

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