Highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N6 viruses exhibit enhanced affinity for human type sialic acid receptor and in-contact transmission in model ferrets

Sun, Honglei and Pu, Juan and Wei, Yandi and Sun, Yipeng and Hu, Jiao and Liu, Litao and Xu, Guanlong and Gao, Weihua and Li, Chong and Zhang, Xuxiao and Huang, Yinhua and Chang, Kin-Chow and Liu, Xiufan and Liu, Jinhua (2016) Highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N6 viruses exhibit enhanced affinity for human type sialic acid receptor and in-contact transmission in model ferrets. Journal of Virology, 90 (14). pp. 6235-6243. ISSN 1098-5514

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Abstract

Since May 2014, highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N6 virus has been reported to cause six severe human infections three of which were fatal. The biological properties of this subtype, in particular its relative pathogenicity and transmissibility in mammals, are not known. We characterized the virus receptor-binding affinity, pathogenicity, and transmissibility in mice and ferrets of four H5N6 isolates derived from waterfowl in China from 2013-2014. All four H5N6 viruses have acquired a binding affinity for human-like SA alpha 2,6Gal-linked receptor to be able to attach to human tracheal epithelial and alveolar cells. The emergent H5N6 viruses, which share high sequence similarity with the human isolate A/Guangzhou/39715/2014 (H5N6), were fully infective and highly transmissible by direct contact in ferrets but showed less-severe pathogenicity than the parental H5N1 virus. The present results highlight the threat of emergent H5N6 viruses to poultry and human health and the need to closely track their continual adaptation in humans.

Item Type: Article
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Veterinary Medicine and Science
Identification Number: 10.1128/JVI.00127-16
Depositing User: Eprints, Support
Date Deposited: 07 Nov 2016 10:26
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2017 10:44
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/38539

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