Isolation and characterization of subgroup J Avian Leukosis virus associated with hemangioma in commercial Hy-Line chickens

Isolation and characterization of subgroup J Avian Leukosis virus associated with hemangioma in... ABSTRACT There was an outbreak of hemangioma associated with avian leukosis virus subgroup J (ALV-J) between 2006 and 2010 in China in commercial layer chickens. Recently, severe hemangiomas broke out in Hy-Line layer chickens on a poultry farm in 2017 where ALV was eradicated earlier. Six isolates of ALV-J, named SDAU1701–SDAU1706, were characterized by virus isolation and sequence analysis of the complete proviral genomes. Avian leukosis virus subgroup J was identified by an immunofluorescence assay with monoclonal antibody JE9, whereas Marek's disease virus or reticuloendotheliosis virus was not detected. Sequence analysis of the complete proviral genome revealed that there was 96.0–99.6% identity between each other and had a homology of 94.6–96.0% when compared with the reference strain. The six isolates formed one distinct lineage separate from the reference sequences in a phylogenetic-tree, which suggested that there were several genetic differences between these groups. Homology analysis of the env, pol, and gag genes of the six isolates showed that the env gene was more variable, especially the gp85 protein, which shared only 88.2–91.9% identity with the reference strains. Sequence comparisons of the gp85 protein indicated that 19 sites were different from those in the NX0101 and HPRS-103 strains inducing myeloid leukosis; among our strains, five mutations were identical to those in the viruses causing hemangioma. Four other distinctive mutations were detected in our six isolates. This study reminds us that the surveillance of viral eradication should be conducted continuously on a farm where ALVs were eradicated. To prevent the prevalence of ALVs, more attention should be paid to daily monitoring. INTRODUCTION Avian leukosis virus (ALV) is an oncogenic retrovirus causing neoplastic diseases, such as lymphocytoma, myeloid leukosis, and hemangioma, as well as immunosuppression (Fadly and Smith, 1999). The discoveries of Rous sarcoma virus, reverse transcriptase, and the Src oncogene were awarded Nobel Prizes in medicine and physiology in 1966, 1975, and 1989, respectively (Weiss and Vogt, 2011). The ALVs infecting chickens could be divided into seven subgroups, including A, B, C, D, E, J, and K (Payne and Nair, 2012; Li et al., 2016). Subgroup J avian leukosis virus (ALV-J) was first isolated and identified in 1988 in the United Kingdom (Payne et al., 1991); it has spread worldwide and caused enormous economic losses to the poultry industry. ALV-J was first detected in broiler chickens in 1999 in China (Cui et al., 2003); then, it was discovered in egg-type chickens, “three yellow” chickens, and other local breeds (Xu et al., 2004; Sun and Cui, 2007; Li et al., 2013). Compared to other ALVs, ALV-J primarily causes myeloid leukemia (Payne et al., 1992; Lai et al., 2011). From 2007 to 2010, hemangioma was the most hazardous neoplastic disease associated with ALV-J, which caused a massive pandemic and became a major avian health concern. During the period of the 11th and 12th Five-Year Plan, ALV infection was one of the diseases listed in the manual “National animal disease prevention and control for the medium and long term planning.” After continuous eradication, ALV has rarely happened in laying hens and broiler chickens. Moreover, ALV-J-related tumor cases became very rare in recent years. In this study, chickens with hemangioma were found to be infected with ALV-J by pathological anatomy, histological examination, molecular biological assays, and genome analysis on a Hy-Line farm where ALV was previously eradicated. Our results will be helpful for the control and prevention of ALV infections in China and serves as a warning that the monitoring of ALV is necessary after eradication. MATERIALS AND METHODS Case History Chickens with symptoms of hemangioma were found among 180-day-old Hy-Line brown chickens on a commercial farm in Shandong Province, China. All the sick chickens had blood blisters in the feet and liver accompanied with hepatosplenomegaly, which resulted in ∼10% mortality and a lower laying rate. Virus Isolation Blood samples were collected aseptically from the infected Hy-Line brown layer chickens with suspected hemangioma, and all blood samples were centrifuged at 2,000 revolutions per minute for 2 min at 4°C to obtain plasma for virus isolation. Then, single-layer DF-1 cells were infected with 80 μL adtevak when the cells grew to 70–80% density and incubated at 37°C with 5% CO2 for 9 days for each passage. Uninfected DF-1 cells served as negative control. The details of this procedure were previously reported (Li et al., 2013). The ALV group-specific antigen p27 in the culture supernatant was detected by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (Avian Leukosis Virus Antigen Test Kit; IDEXX, USA). Histopathological Examination The sick chickens were randomly chosen for necropsy, which showed the symptoms of hemangioma. Fresh liver tissues were collected and fixed in 10% buffered neutral formalin. The fixed tissues were dehydrated and embedded in paraffin. Paraffin-embedded slices (4 μm thick) were stained with hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) for histopathological examination as described elsewhere (Cheng et al., 2010). Indirect Immunofluorescence Assay The infected cells were washed with PBS and fixed with a cold acetone–alcohol mixture (3:2) for 5 min, and then allowed to air-dry. Then, the cells were incubated with a mouse anti-ALV-J monoclonal antibody JE9 (Qin et al., 2001) at 37°C for 60 min, and then, incubated with goat anti-mouse IgG antibody conjugated with fluorescein isothiocyanate (Sigma, California, USA) at 37°C for another 60 min. Finally, the cells were observed under a fluorescence microscope. Primers A pair of universal primers (ALV-F/R) was designed and synthesized to detect exogenous ALVs (Table 1). Two pairs of primers were used to detect Marek's disease virus (Ding et al., 2007) and reticuloendotheliosis virus (Ji et al., 2001) according to the previously published reports. After that, four pairs of primers were designed based on the conserved regions among different subgroups of ALVs to amplify the full-length proviral genome of ALV-J (Table 1). Table 1. Primers used to amplify the proviral genomic DNA. No.  Name  Sequence (5΄–3΄)  Position corresponding to HPRS-103  Expected size (bp)  1  ALV-F  GATGAGGCGAGCCCTCTCTTTG  5,277–5,298  2,487    ALV-R  TGTGGTGGGAGGTAAAATGGCGT  7,741–7,763    2  gag-F  CACCACATTGGTGTGCACCTGGGT  239–262  2,567    gag-R  GAAGGGGCCACTGGTCAATCCACA  2,782–2,805    3  pol-F  GAGATTGTCTGCAGGGCCTAGGGCT  2,666–2,690  2,738    pol-R  TGGCAGCAAGGGTGTCTTCTCCG  5,381–5,403    4  env-F  GAGGTGACTAAGAAAGATGAGGCGA  5,262–5,286  2,259    env-R  CATCTCCCCCTCCCTATGCGAAAGC  7,496–7,520    5  3΄UTR-F  GGCTTCGGTTGTACGCGGATAGGA  7,321–7,344  606    5΄UTR-R  CTTCCAACGACCCTCTGAGTGCTCG  511–535    No.  Name  Sequence (5΄–3΄)  Position corresponding to HPRS-103  Expected size (bp)  1  ALV-F  GATGAGGCGAGCCCTCTCTTTG  5,277–5,298  2,487    ALV-R  TGTGGTGGGAGGTAAAATGGCGT  7,741–7,763    2  gag-F  CACCACATTGGTGTGCACCTGGGT  239–262  2,567    gag-R  GAAGGGGCCACTGGTCAATCCACA  2,782–2,805    3  pol-F  GAGATTGTCTGCAGGGCCTAGGGCT  2,666–2,690  2,738    pol-R  TGGCAGCAAGGGTGTCTTCTCCG  5,381–5,403    4  env-F  GAGGTGACTAAGAAAGATGAGGCGA  5,262–5,286  2,259    env-R  CATCTCCCCCTCCCTATGCGAAAGC  7,496–7,520    5  3΄UTR-F  GGCTTCGGTTGTACGCGGATAGGA  7,321–7,344  606    5΄UTR-R  CTTCCAACGACCCTCTGAGTGCTCG  511–535    View Large Table 1. Primers used to amplify the proviral genomic DNA. No.  Name  Sequence (5΄–3΄)  Position corresponding to HPRS-103  Expected size (bp)  1  ALV-F  GATGAGGCGAGCCCTCTCTTTG  5,277–5,298  2,487    ALV-R  TGTGGTGGGAGGTAAAATGGCGT  7,741–7,763    2  gag-F  CACCACATTGGTGTGCACCTGGGT  239–262  2,567    gag-R  GAAGGGGCCACTGGTCAATCCACA  2,782–2,805    3  pol-F  GAGATTGTCTGCAGGGCCTAGGGCT  2,666–2,690  2,738    pol-R  TGGCAGCAAGGGTGTCTTCTCCG  5,381–5,403    4  env-F  GAGGTGACTAAGAAAGATGAGGCGA  5,262–5,286  2,259    env-R  CATCTCCCCCTCCCTATGCGAAAGC  7,496–7,520    5  3΄UTR-F  GGCTTCGGTTGTACGCGGATAGGA  7,321–7,344  606    5΄UTR-R  CTTCCAACGACCCTCTGAGTGCTCG  511–535    No.  Name  Sequence (5΄–3΄)  Position corresponding to HPRS-103  Expected size (bp)  1  ALV-F  GATGAGGCGAGCCCTCTCTTTG  5,277–5,298  2,487    ALV-R  TGTGGTGGGAGGTAAAATGGCGT  7,741–7,763    2  gag-F  CACCACATTGGTGTGCACCTGGGT  239–262  2,567    gag-R  GAAGGGGCCACTGGTCAATCCACA  2,782–2,805    3  pol-F  GAGATTGTCTGCAGGGCCTAGGGCT  2,666–2,690  2,738    pol-R  TGGCAGCAAGGGTGTCTTCTCCG  5,381–5,403    4  env-F  GAGGTGACTAAGAAAGATGAGGCGA  5,262–5,286  2,259    env-R  CATCTCCCCCTCCCTATGCGAAAGC  7,496–7,520    5  3΄UTR-F  GGCTTCGGTTGTACGCGGATAGGA  7,321–7,344  606    5΄UTR-R  CTTCCAACGACCCTCTGAGTGCTCG  511–535    View Large Genomic-DNA Extraction and PCR Amplification The DNA samples were extracted from the DF-1 cells infected with ALV-J by means of a DNA Extraction Kit (TAKARA, Dalian, China). Then, PCR amplification was conducted with different primers using provirus DNA samples as templates. The amplification of the gene was set up in a 50-μL reaction mixture containing 1 μL DNA, 5 μL 10× Taq buffer, 4 μL dNTPs (100 μmol/L), 1 μL each primer (2.5 pmoL/μL), and 38 μL double-distilled H2O. The conditions for PCR with primers ALV-F/R were as follows: 95°C for 5 min; followed by 31 cycles of 95°C for 50 s, 55°C for 40 s, and 72°C for 140 s; with a final elongation step of 10 min at 72°C. The PCR product was analyzed by electrophoresis in 0.8% agarose in Tris-acetate-EDTA buffer. The gel-purified PCR products were cloned into the pMD18-T vector (TAKARA, Dalian, China) and transfected into DH5α Escherichia coli competent cells. Positive clones were confirmed by the bacterial PCR and subjected to Sanger sequencing (BGI, Shenzhen, China). Sequence Analysis Sequence alignments were assembled with other ALV-J referential sequences retrieved from the National Center for Biotechnology Information database. The editing of nucleotide sequence was carried out by the Clustal Method in the MegAlign program of the DNAStar software package, ver. 7.01 (DNAStar Inc., Madison, WI). Phylogenetic analysis was based on the neighbor-joining method with 500 bootstrap replicates by MEGA ver. 5.1 (Tamura et al., 2007). The GenBank accession numbers of the strains used in this study are listed in Table 2. Table 2. The ALV-J reference strains used in this study. Strains  Year  Country  Host  Tumor type  Length (bp)  Genbank No.  NHH  2007  China  Commercial layer  He  7,607  HM235668  GD1109  2011  China  Commercial layer  He  7,653  JX254901  HLJ09MDJ-1  2009  China  Hy-Line layer  He  7,670  JN624878  SCDY1  2009  China  Grandparent breed  He  7,489  HQ425636  JL09JL3-1  2009  China  Commercial layer  He  7,670  JN624878  SD09DP03  2009  China  Commercial layer  He  7,633  JN624880  JS09GY3  2009  China  Commercial layer  He and ML  7,663  GU982308  NX0101  1999  China  Meat-type chicken  ML  7,688  DQ115805  HPRS-103  1988  USA  Meat-type chicken  ML  7,841  Z46390  SDAU1701  2017  China  Hy-Line layer  He  7,630  KY980657  SDAU1702  2017  China  Hy-Line layer  He  7,610  KY980658  SDAU1703  2017  China  Hy-Line layer  He  7,630  KY980659  SDAU1704  2017  China  Hy-Line layer  He  7,612  KY980660  SDAU1705  2017  China  Hy-Line layer  He  7,629  KY980661  SDAU1706  2017  China  Hy-Line layer  He  7,629  KY980662  Strains  Year  Country  Host  Tumor type  Length (bp)  Genbank No.  NHH  2007  China  Commercial layer  He  7,607  HM235668  GD1109  2011  China  Commercial layer  He  7,653  JX254901  HLJ09MDJ-1  2009  China  Hy-Line layer  He  7,670  JN624878  SCDY1  2009  China  Grandparent breed  He  7,489  HQ425636  JL09JL3-1  2009  China  Commercial layer  He  7,670  JN624878  SD09DP03  2009  China  Commercial layer  He  7,633  JN624880  JS09GY3  2009  China  Commercial layer  He and ML  7,663  GU982308  NX0101  1999  China  Meat-type chicken  ML  7,688  DQ115805  HPRS-103  1988  USA  Meat-type chicken  ML  7,841  Z46390  SDAU1701  2017  China  Hy-Line layer  He  7,630  KY980657  SDAU1702  2017  China  Hy-Line layer  He  7,610  KY980658  SDAU1703  2017  China  Hy-Line layer  He  7,630  KY980659  SDAU1704  2017  China  Hy-Line layer  He  7,612  KY980660  SDAU1705  2017  China  Hy-Line layer  He  7,629  KY980661  SDAU1706  2017  China  Hy-Line layer  He  7,629  KY980662  View Large Table 2. The ALV-J reference strains used in this study. Strains  Year  Country  Host  Tumor type  Length (bp)  Genbank No.  NHH  2007  China  Commercial layer  He  7,607  HM235668  GD1109  2011  China  Commercial layer  He  7,653  JX254901  HLJ09MDJ-1  2009  China  Hy-Line layer  He  7,670  JN624878  SCDY1  2009  China  Grandparent breed  He  7,489  HQ425636  JL09JL3-1  2009  China  Commercial layer  He  7,670  JN624878  SD09DP03  2009  China  Commercial layer  He  7,633  JN624880  JS09GY3  2009  China  Commercial layer  He and ML  7,663  GU982308  NX0101  1999  China  Meat-type chicken  ML  7,688  DQ115805  HPRS-103  1988  USA  Meat-type chicken  ML  7,841  Z46390  SDAU1701  2017  China  Hy-Line layer  He  7,630  KY980657  SDAU1702  2017  China  Hy-Line layer  He  7,610  KY980658  SDAU1703  2017  China  Hy-Line layer  He  7,630  KY980659  SDAU1704  2017  China  Hy-Line layer  He  7,612  KY980660  SDAU1705  2017  China  Hy-Line layer  He  7,629  KY980661  SDAU1706  2017  China  Hy-Line layer  He  7,629  KY980662  Strains  Year  Country  Host  Tumor type  Length (bp)  Genbank No.  NHH  2007  China  Commercial layer  He  7,607  HM235668  GD1109  2011  China  Commercial layer  He  7,653  JX254901  HLJ09MDJ-1  2009  China  Hy-Line layer  He  7,670  JN624878  SCDY1  2009  China  Grandparent breed  He  7,489  HQ425636  JL09JL3-1  2009  China  Commercial layer  He  7,670  JN624878  SD09DP03  2009  China  Commercial layer  He  7,633  JN624880  JS09GY3  2009  China  Commercial layer  He and ML  7,663  GU982308  NX0101  1999  China  Meat-type chicken  ML  7,688  DQ115805  HPRS-103  1988  USA  Meat-type chicken  ML  7,841  Z46390  SDAU1701  2017  China  Hy-Line layer  He  7,630  KY980657  SDAU1702  2017  China  Hy-Line layer  He  7,610  KY980658  SDAU1703  2017  China  Hy-Line layer  He  7,630  KY980659  SDAU1704  2017  China  Hy-Line layer  He  7,612  KY980660  SDAU1705  2017  China  Hy-Line layer  He  7,629  KY980661  SDAU1706  2017  China  Hy-Line layer  He  7,629  KY980662  View Large Ethics Statement The study protocol and all animal experiments were approved by the Shandong Agricultural University Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee. RESULTS Clinical Features and Histopathology The sick chickens showed symptoms of hemangioma during the autopsy, such as hepatomegaly with dark red blood blisters, toe joint swelling with blood bags, splenomegaly, and ovarian dysplasia (Figures 1A–1C). Histopathological examination revealed a large number hyperplasia of eosinophils and overabundance of red blood cells (Figures 1D and 1E), which are the pathognomonic signs of hemangioma. Figure 1. View largeDownload slide Lesions and histopathology analysis caused by ALV-J in Hy-Line chicken flocks. Figure 1. View largeDownload slide Lesions and histopathology analysis caused by ALV-J in Hy-Line chicken flocks. Isolation and Identification of the Virus Based on the clinical features, six plasma samples from the sick chickens were collected for virus isolation in DF-1 cells. No microscopically visible cytopathic effects were detected in the infected DF-1 cells. After three serial cell passages, the culture supernatants were tested for the p27 antigen by a commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kit, which were positive. The infected cells were detected by immunofluorescence assay using ALV-J-specific monoclonal antibody JE9; the results found many positive cells with cytoplasmic staining, while the nucleus without staining (Figures 2A and 2B). Furthermore, genomic RNA was extracted from samples positive for the p27 antigen and was amplified by RT-PCR with the ALV-specific universal primers, and only ALV could be amplified; no PCR products were obtained with primers specific for Marek's disease virus and reticuloendotheliosis virus (Figure 2C). Sequence analysis revealed that the viruses from the six sick chickens carried highly homologous sequences to those of the ALV-J reference sequences. Therefore, the six viruses were isolated and identified as ALV-J and named SDAU1701–SDAU1706. Figure 2. View largeDownload slide Immunofluorescence assay and PCR detection of DF-1 cells infected with plasmas from sick chickens. (A) DF-1 cells infected with plasmas inoculated with ALV-J-specific antibody JE9, 100×; (B) negative control, 100×. (3) Electrophoretogram of PCR product with specific primer for ALV, MDV, and REV. Figure 2. View largeDownload slide Immunofluorescence assay and PCR detection of DF-1 cells infected with plasmas from sick chickens. (A) DF-1 cells infected with plasmas inoculated with ALV-J-specific antibody JE9, 100×; (B) negative control, 100×. (3) Electrophoretogram of PCR product with specific primer for ALV, MDV, and REV. Sequence Analysis of the Proviral Genomes of Isolates SDAU1701–SDAU1706 The proviral genomes were amplified and had a full length of 7610–7630 nt (Table 2). The gp85 protein of the six isolates shared at least 87.7% amino acid sequence identity with the referential ALV-J strains retrieved from National Center for Biotechnology Information and showed ∼40% identity to the referential strains of ALV-A/B. Comparisons of the major structural genes with the ALV-J referential strains revealed that the LTR region and gag and pol genes of the six isolates were well conserved, sharing 89.2–97.7% nucleotide identity and 94.6–98.6% amino acid identity. Nonetheless, the env gene was found to be much more variable: the isolates shared only 90.2–93.0% nucleotide sequence identity and 88.2–91.9% amino acid sequence identity on the gp85 protein with one another (Table 3). Table 3. The similarity of nucleotide sequences and amino acid sequences between SDAU1701 and other reference strains.   Nucleotide sequences (%)  Amino acid sequences (%)  ALV-J strains  LTR  gag  pol  env  gag  pol  env  gp85  gp37  SDAU1702  99.1  98.7  97.7  95.8  98.4  98.1  94.2  92.2  99.0  SDAU1703  96.0  94.6  99.5  98.9  95.4  99.3  98.4  97.7  99.0  SDAU1704  98.8  99.0  99.3  96.6  98.7  99.3  95.4  92.5  100.0  SDAU1705  99.1  99.4  98.3  98.3  99.0  98.4  97.4  97.7  99.5  SDAU1706  100  100.0  99.7  99.8  100.0  99.5  99.8  99.7  100.0  SD09DP03  94.1  95.0  96.8  93.5  96.9  98.2  90.7  88.2  92.9  HLJ09MDJ-1  89.2  95.0  96.8  93.5  96.9  98.2  90.7  88.2  92.9  JL093-1  89.2  95.2  96.9  94.0  96.4  97.9  93.0  91.5  95.4  JS09GY3  90.4  94.7  96.8  93.1  97.3  98.5  92.1  89.6  94.9  NHH  91.1  96.3  96.3  93.5  98.4  97.4  91.5  90.2  91.8  GD1109  89.8  94.5  97.3  94.2  96.9  98.4  93.0  91.9  93.9  SCDY1  93.3  96.2  97.7  93.5  97.9  98.6  91.6  90.9  91.8  NX0101  93.2  94.2  97.0  92.6  94.6  97.1  90.2  88.6  92.3  HPRS-103  94.1  97.0  97.0  93.4  97.9  98.5  91.2  90.9  90.8    Nucleotide sequences (%)  Amino acid sequences (%)  ALV-J strains  LTR  gag  pol  env  gag  pol  env  gp85  gp37  SDAU1702  99.1  98.7  97.7  95.8  98.4  98.1  94.2  92.2  99.0  SDAU1703  96.0  94.6  99.5  98.9  95.4  99.3  98.4  97.7  99.0  SDAU1704  98.8  99.0  99.3  96.6  98.7  99.3  95.4  92.5  100.0  SDAU1705  99.1  99.4  98.3  98.3  99.0  98.4  97.4  97.7  99.5  SDAU1706  100  100.0  99.7  99.8  100.0  99.5  99.8  99.7  100.0  SD09DP03  94.1  95.0  96.8  93.5  96.9  98.2  90.7  88.2  92.9  HLJ09MDJ-1  89.2  95.0  96.8  93.5  96.9  98.2  90.7  88.2  92.9  JL093-1  89.2  95.2  96.9  94.0  96.4  97.9  93.0  91.5  95.4  JS09GY3  90.4  94.7  96.8  93.1  97.3  98.5  92.1  89.6  94.9  NHH  91.1  96.3  96.3  93.5  98.4  97.4  91.5  90.2  91.8  GD1109  89.8  94.5  97.3  94.2  96.9  98.4  93.0  91.9  93.9  SCDY1  93.3  96.2  97.7  93.5  97.9  98.6  91.6  90.9  91.8  NX0101  93.2  94.2  97.0  92.6  94.6  97.1  90.2  88.6  92.3  HPRS-103  94.1  97.0  97.0  93.4  97.9  98.5  91.2  90.9  90.8  View Large Table 3. The similarity of nucleotide sequences and amino acid sequences between SDAU1701 and other reference strains.   Nucleotide sequences (%)  Amino acid sequences (%)  ALV-J strains  LTR  gag  pol  env  gag  pol  env  gp85  gp37  SDAU1702  99.1  98.7  97.7  95.8  98.4  98.1  94.2  92.2  99.0  SDAU1703  96.0  94.6  99.5  98.9  95.4  99.3  98.4  97.7  99.0  SDAU1704  98.8  99.0  99.3  96.6  98.7  99.3  95.4  92.5  100.0  SDAU1705  99.1  99.4  98.3  98.3  99.0  98.4  97.4  97.7  99.5  SDAU1706  100  100.0  99.7  99.8  100.0  99.5  99.8  99.7  100.0  SD09DP03  94.1  95.0  96.8  93.5  96.9  98.2  90.7  88.2  92.9  HLJ09MDJ-1  89.2  95.0  96.8  93.5  96.9  98.2  90.7  88.2  92.9  JL093-1  89.2  95.2  96.9  94.0  96.4  97.9  93.0  91.5  95.4  JS09GY3  90.4  94.7  96.8  93.1  97.3  98.5  92.1  89.6  94.9  NHH  91.1  96.3  96.3  93.5  98.4  97.4  91.5  90.2  91.8  GD1109  89.8  94.5  97.3  94.2  96.9  98.4  93.0  91.9  93.9  SCDY1  93.3  96.2  97.7  93.5  97.9  98.6  91.6  90.9  91.8  NX0101  93.2  94.2  97.0  92.6  94.6  97.1  90.2  88.6  92.3  HPRS-103  94.1  97.0  97.0  93.4  97.9  98.5  91.2  90.9  90.8    Nucleotide sequences (%)  Amino acid sequences (%)  ALV-J strains  LTR  gag  pol  env  gag  pol  env  gp85  gp37  SDAU1702  99.1  98.7  97.7  95.8  98.4  98.1  94.2  92.2  99.0  SDAU1703  96.0  94.6  99.5  98.9  95.4  99.3  98.4  97.7  99.0  SDAU1704  98.8  99.0  99.3  96.6  98.7  99.3  95.4  92.5  100.0  SDAU1705  99.1  99.4  98.3  98.3  99.0  98.4  97.4  97.7  99.5  SDAU1706  100  100.0  99.7  99.8  100.0  99.5  99.8  99.7  100.0  SD09DP03  94.1  95.0  96.8  93.5  96.9  98.2  90.7  88.2  92.9  HLJ09MDJ-1  89.2  95.0  96.8  93.5  96.9  98.2  90.7  88.2  92.9  JL093-1  89.2  95.2  96.9  94.0  96.4  97.9  93.0  91.5  95.4  JS09GY3  90.4  94.7  96.8  93.1  97.3  98.5  92.1  89.6  94.9  NHH  91.1  96.3  96.3  93.5  98.4  97.4  91.5  90.2  91.8  GD1109  89.8  94.5  97.3  94.2  96.9  98.4  93.0  91.9  93.9  SCDY1  93.3  96.2  97.7  93.5  97.9  98.6  91.6  90.9  91.8  NX0101  93.2  94.2  97.0  92.6  94.6  97.1  90.2  88.6  92.3  HPRS-103  94.1  97.0  97.0  93.4  97.9  98.5  91.2  90.9  90.8  View Large Furthermore, the amino acid sequences of gp85 from the six strains were compared with nine referential strains, where 19 amino acid positions were found to be different from the sequences of NX0101 and HPRS-103 strains, which can induce myeloid leukosis. Among these amino acid sites, the mutations at 21st, 47th, 143rd, 206th, and 239th positions were identical to those strains inducing hemangioma, especially in SDAU1702, SDAU1703, SDAU1704, and SDAU1705 (Figure 3). Figure 3. View largeDownload slide Nucleic acid sequence alignments of the ALV gp85 region. Figure 3. View largeDownload slide Nucleic acid sequence alignments of the ALV gp85 region. Phylogenetic Relations Between Strains SDAU1701–SDAU1706 and other ALV-J strains The results of phylogenetic analysis of env, gp85, gp37, and LTR sequences of strains SDAU1701–SDAU1706 and 9 ALV-J referential strains indicated that the six newly isolated strains formed a new cluster, which was closely related to the isolates causing hemangioma and far from NX0101 and HPRS-103 that can induce a myeloid tumor (Figure 4). Figure 4. View largeDownload slide Phylogenetic relationship of the six isolates to referential ALV-J strains, based on the env gene (A), gp85 gene (B), gp37gene (C), and LTR (D). Figure 4. View largeDownload slide Phylogenetic relationship of the six isolates to referential ALV-J strains, based on the env gene (A), gp85 gene (B), gp37gene (C), and LTR (D). Recombination Analysis The recombination events in the complete proviral genomes were analyzed by RDP4, and several potential recombination events in ENV gene were detected, including two events in SDAU1701, and one in SDAU1702, which were supported by Bootscan (Figures 5A–5C) and ten other methods. All these events can be divided into three groups, named SDAU09C2 (ALV-B) and RSV-D (ALV-D), RSA-A (ALV-A) and EV-3 (ALV-E), SDAU1703 (ALV-J) and HN0001 (ALV-J) (Figure 5D). The above results suggest that the isolates are recombinant isolates. Figure 5. View largeDownload slide Bootscan analysis of the potential recombinant and major and minor parent sequences in the ENV gene of the isolates (A, B, C, D). The Bootscan was based on the pairwise distance model with a window size of 200, step size of 50, and 1,000 bootstrap replicates generated by the RDP4 program. Figure 5. View largeDownload slide Bootscan analysis of the potential recombinant and major and minor parent sequences in the ENV gene of the isolates (A, B, C, D). The Bootscan was based on the pairwise distance model with a window size of 200, step size of 50, and 1,000 bootstrap replicates generated by the RDP4 program. DISCUSSION RNA viruses have high mutational rates because of the lack of correction mechanism, so a viral population named quasispecies was formed (Bai et al., 1995; Smith et al., 1999; Silva et al., 2000). In China, there are many kinds of chickens infected with different serotypes of ALV, including A, B, J, and K (Payne and Nair, 2012; Li et al., 2016). Among them, ALV-J causes severe damages to the poultry industry (Xu et al., 2004; Sun and Cui, 2007; Pan et al., 2012; Li et al., 2013). ALV-J was first isolated in 1988 from white-meat-type chickens with myelocytomatosis and mainly causes myeloid leukosis in meat-type chickens (Venugopal et al., 2000). Then, hemangioma caused by ALV-J was first found in layer hens in 2006 in China (Xin et al., 2006). Since ALV was listed in the manual “National animal disease prevention and control for the medium and long term planning”, ALV has rarely occurred in layer hens and meat-type chickens, and no reports of hemangioma were published in the last three years. Why did hemangioma crop up again recently? Liu reported that two novel ALVs isolated from layer hens that cause hemangioma and myelocytomas may be the product of recombination between ALV-J and endogenous ALV-E previously (Liu et al., 2011). Therefore, mutations and recombination events in strain ALV-J may be the major reason for the extended tissue tropism. In this study, hemangioma appeared again in layer hens, and six strains of ALV-J were isolated and evaluated regarding similarities, phylogenetic relations, and amino acid substitutions. Analysis of the complete proviral genome sequence suggested that gag, pol, and gp37 of SDAU1701–SDAU1706 were relatively conserved as compared with nine referential strains as previously reported, but LTR and gp85 showed substantial variation, which may be associated with the viral replication capacity and pathogenicity (Barnard et al., 2006). All the newly isolated strains have deviated from the original strain and form an independent clade in the phylogenetic trees of the env, gp85, gp37 proteins and LTR sequences. Therefore, the amino acid sequences were compared, and we found amino acid substitutions that are similar to those strains causing hemangioma, such as the 21st, 47th, 143rd, 206th, and 239th positions; however, there are four distinctive mutations, namely, D/N/Q61T, T106A, G222T, and G238R. Of note, strains SDAU1701–SDAU1706 shared different mutations in LTR sequences with those referential strains and have six distinctive mutations—T74A, A75G, G94A, G181A, G191A, and T195C—giving rise to changes in regulatory elements. These data suggest that these mutations may be responsible for the altered oncogenicity in terms of hemangioma. In the present study, recombination analysis revealed that there was recombination in the ENV gene with the major and minor parent from different subgroups, which may be the key reason causing the occurrence of hemangioma. Although the genome sequence showed high nucleotide sequence and amino acid identity to other Chinese ALV-J isolates from hemangioma cases, the newly isolated ALV-J SDAU1701–SDAU1706 from Hy-Line chickens has evolved into a novel phylogenetic clade distincting from the previously reported strains causing hemangioma. This finding indicates that ALV-J has a tendency to resurface in layer chickens in China. At the same time, our findings serve as a warning that the eradication of ALVs is not disposable: subsequent continuous monitoring is necessary. Therefore, more attention and effort should be devoted to the eradication of ALVs. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS This study was supported by the National Science Foundation (No. 31402226) the National Key Research and Development Program of China (No. 2016YFD0501606) and the Shandong “Double Tops” Program (grant number: SYL2017YSTD11). REFERENCES Bai J., Payne L. N., Skinner M. A.. 1995. HPRS-103 (exogenous avian leukosis virus, subgroup J) has an env gene related to those of endogenous elements EAV-0 and E51 and an E element found previously only in sarcoma viruses. J. Virol . 69: 779– 784. Google Scholar PubMed  Barnard R. J., Elleder D., Young J. A.. 2006. Avian sarcoma and leukosis virus-receptor interactions: from classical genetics to novel insights into virus–cell membrane fusion. Virology . 344: 25– 29. Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS PubMed  Cheng Z., Liu J., Cui Z., Zhang L.. 2010. Tumors associated with avian leukosis virus subgroup J in layer hens during 2007 to 2009 in China. J. Vet. Med. Sci.  72: 1027– 1033. Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS PubMed  Cui Z., Du Y., Zhang Z., Silva R. F.. 2003. Comparison of Chinese field strains of avian leukosis subgroup J viruses with prototype strain HPRS-103 and United States strains. Avian Dis.  47: 1321– 1330. Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS PubMed  Ding J. B., Jiang S. J., Zhu H. F., Cui Z. Z.. 2007. 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Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS PubMed  © 2018 Poultry Science Association Inc. This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model (https://academic.oup.com/journals/pages/about_us/legal/notices) http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Poultry Science Oxford University Press

Isolation and characterization of subgroup J Avian Leukosis virus associated with hemangioma in commercial Hy-Line chickens

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Oxford University Press
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© 2018 Poultry Science Association Inc.
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0032-5791
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1525-3171
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10.3382/ps/pey121
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Abstract

ABSTRACT There was an outbreak of hemangioma associated with avian leukosis virus subgroup J (ALV-J) between 2006 and 2010 in China in commercial layer chickens. Recently, severe hemangiomas broke out in Hy-Line layer chickens on a poultry farm in 2017 where ALV was eradicated earlier. Six isolates of ALV-J, named SDAU1701–SDAU1706, were characterized by virus isolation and sequence analysis of the complete proviral genomes. Avian leukosis virus subgroup J was identified by an immunofluorescence assay with monoclonal antibody JE9, whereas Marek's disease virus or reticuloendotheliosis virus was not detected. Sequence analysis of the complete proviral genome revealed that there was 96.0–99.6% identity between each other and had a homology of 94.6–96.0% when compared with the reference strain. The six isolates formed one distinct lineage separate from the reference sequences in a phylogenetic-tree, which suggested that there were several genetic differences between these groups. Homology analysis of the env, pol, and gag genes of the six isolates showed that the env gene was more variable, especially the gp85 protein, which shared only 88.2–91.9% identity with the reference strains. Sequence comparisons of the gp85 protein indicated that 19 sites were different from those in the NX0101 and HPRS-103 strains inducing myeloid leukosis; among our strains, five mutations were identical to those in the viruses causing hemangioma. Four other distinctive mutations were detected in our six isolates. This study reminds us that the surveillance of viral eradication should be conducted continuously on a farm where ALVs were eradicated. To prevent the prevalence of ALVs, more attention should be paid to daily monitoring. INTRODUCTION Avian leukosis virus (ALV) is an oncogenic retrovirus causing neoplastic diseases, such as lymphocytoma, myeloid leukosis, and hemangioma, as well as immunosuppression (Fadly and Smith, 1999). The discoveries of Rous sarcoma virus, reverse transcriptase, and the Src oncogene were awarded Nobel Prizes in medicine and physiology in 1966, 1975, and 1989, respectively (Weiss and Vogt, 2011). The ALVs infecting chickens could be divided into seven subgroups, including A, B, C, D, E, J, and K (Payne and Nair, 2012; Li et al., 2016). Subgroup J avian leukosis virus (ALV-J) was first isolated and identified in 1988 in the United Kingdom (Payne et al., 1991); it has spread worldwide and caused enormous economic losses to the poultry industry. ALV-J was first detected in broiler chickens in 1999 in China (Cui et al., 2003); then, it was discovered in egg-type chickens, “three yellow” chickens, and other local breeds (Xu et al., 2004; Sun and Cui, 2007; Li et al., 2013). Compared to other ALVs, ALV-J primarily causes myeloid leukemia (Payne et al., 1992; Lai et al., 2011). From 2007 to 2010, hemangioma was the most hazardous neoplastic disease associated with ALV-J, which caused a massive pandemic and became a major avian health concern. During the period of the 11th and 12th Five-Year Plan, ALV infection was one of the diseases listed in the manual “National animal disease prevention and control for the medium and long term planning.” After continuous eradication, ALV has rarely happened in laying hens and broiler chickens. Moreover, ALV-J-related tumor cases became very rare in recent years. In this study, chickens with hemangioma were found to be infected with ALV-J by pathological anatomy, histological examination, molecular biological assays, and genome analysis on a Hy-Line farm where ALV was previously eradicated. Our results will be helpful for the control and prevention of ALV infections in China and serves as a warning that the monitoring of ALV is necessary after eradication. MATERIALS AND METHODS Case History Chickens with symptoms of hemangioma were found among 180-day-old Hy-Line brown chickens on a commercial farm in Shandong Province, China. All the sick chickens had blood blisters in the feet and liver accompanied with hepatosplenomegaly, which resulted in ∼10% mortality and a lower laying rate. Virus Isolation Blood samples were collected aseptically from the infected Hy-Line brown layer chickens with suspected hemangioma, and all blood samples were centrifuged at 2,000 revolutions per minute for 2 min at 4°C to obtain plasma for virus isolation. Then, single-layer DF-1 cells were infected with 80 μL adtevak when the cells grew to 70–80% density and incubated at 37°C with 5% CO2 for 9 days for each passage. Uninfected DF-1 cells served as negative control. The details of this procedure were previously reported (Li et al., 2013). The ALV group-specific antigen p27 in the culture supernatant was detected by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (Avian Leukosis Virus Antigen Test Kit; IDEXX, USA). Histopathological Examination The sick chickens were randomly chosen for necropsy, which showed the symptoms of hemangioma. Fresh liver tissues were collected and fixed in 10% buffered neutral formalin. The fixed tissues were dehydrated and embedded in paraffin. Paraffin-embedded slices (4 μm thick) were stained with hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) for histopathological examination as described elsewhere (Cheng et al., 2010). Indirect Immunofluorescence Assay The infected cells were washed with PBS and fixed with a cold acetone–alcohol mixture (3:2) for 5 min, and then allowed to air-dry. Then, the cells were incubated with a mouse anti-ALV-J monoclonal antibody JE9 (Qin et al., 2001) at 37°C for 60 min, and then, incubated with goat anti-mouse IgG antibody conjugated with fluorescein isothiocyanate (Sigma, California, USA) at 37°C for another 60 min. Finally, the cells were observed under a fluorescence microscope. Primers A pair of universal primers (ALV-F/R) was designed and synthesized to detect exogenous ALVs (Table 1). Two pairs of primers were used to detect Marek's disease virus (Ding et al., 2007) and reticuloendotheliosis virus (Ji et al., 2001) according to the previously published reports. After that, four pairs of primers were designed based on the conserved regions among different subgroups of ALVs to amplify the full-length proviral genome of ALV-J (Table 1). Table 1. Primers used to amplify the proviral genomic DNA. No.  Name  Sequence (5΄–3΄)  Position corresponding to HPRS-103  Expected size (bp)  1  ALV-F  GATGAGGCGAGCCCTCTCTTTG  5,277–5,298  2,487    ALV-R  TGTGGTGGGAGGTAAAATGGCGT  7,741–7,763    2  gag-F  CACCACATTGGTGTGCACCTGGGT  239–262  2,567    gag-R  GAAGGGGCCACTGGTCAATCCACA  2,782–2,805    3  pol-F  GAGATTGTCTGCAGGGCCTAGGGCT  2,666–2,690  2,738    pol-R  TGGCAGCAAGGGTGTCTTCTCCG  5,381–5,403    4  env-F  GAGGTGACTAAGAAAGATGAGGCGA  5,262–5,286  2,259    env-R  CATCTCCCCCTCCCTATGCGAAAGC  7,496–7,520    5  3΄UTR-F  GGCTTCGGTTGTACGCGGATAGGA  7,321–7,344  606    5΄UTR-R  CTTCCAACGACCCTCTGAGTGCTCG  511–535    No.  Name  Sequence (5΄–3΄)  Position corresponding to HPRS-103  Expected size (bp)  1  ALV-F  GATGAGGCGAGCCCTCTCTTTG  5,277–5,298  2,487    ALV-R  TGTGGTGGGAGGTAAAATGGCGT  7,741–7,763    2  gag-F  CACCACATTGGTGTGCACCTGGGT  239–262  2,567    gag-R  GAAGGGGCCACTGGTCAATCCACA  2,782–2,805    3  pol-F  GAGATTGTCTGCAGGGCCTAGGGCT  2,666–2,690  2,738    pol-R  TGGCAGCAAGGGTGTCTTCTCCG  5,381–5,403    4  env-F  GAGGTGACTAAGAAAGATGAGGCGA  5,262–5,286  2,259    env-R  CATCTCCCCCTCCCTATGCGAAAGC  7,496–7,520    5  3΄UTR-F  GGCTTCGGTTGTACGCGGATAGGA  7,321–7,344  606    5΄UTR-R  CTTCCAACGACCCTCTGAGTGCTCG  511–535    View Large Table 1. Primers used to amplify the proviral genomic DNA. No.  Name  Sequence (5΄–3΄)  Position corresponding to HPRS-103  Expected size (bp)  1  ALV-F  GATGAGGCGAGCCCTCTCTTTG  5,277–5,298  2,487    ALV-R  TGTGGTGGGAGGTAAAATGGCGT  7,741–7,763    2  gag-F  CACCACATTGGTGTGCACCTGGGT  239–262  2,567    gag-R  GAAGGGGCCACTGGTCAATCCACA  2,782–2,805    3  pol-F  GAGATTGTCTGCAGGGCCTAGGGCT  2,666–2,690  2,738    pol-R  TGGCAGCAAGGGTGTCTTCTCCG  5,381–5,403    4  env-F  GAGGTGACTAAGAAAGATGAGGCGA  5,262–5,286  2,259    env-R  CATCTCCCCCTCCCTATGCGAAAGC  7,496–7,520    5  3΄UTR-F  GGCTTCGGTTGTACGCGGATAGGA  7,321–7,344  606    5΄UTR-R  CTTCCAACGACCCTCTGAGTGCTCG  511–535    No.  Name  Sequence (5΄–3΄)  Position corresponding to HPRS-103  Expected size (bp)  1  ALV-F  GATGAGGCGAGCCCTCTCTTTG  5,277–5,298  2,487    ALV-R  TGTGGTGGGAGGTAAAATGGCGT  7,741–7,763    2  gag-F  CACCACATTGGTGTGCACCTGGGT  239–262  2,567    gag-R  GAAGGGGCCACTGGTCAATCCACA  2,782–2,805    3  pol-F  GAGATTGTCTGCAGGGCCTAGGGCT  2,666–2,690  2,738    pol-R  TGGCAGCAAGGGTGTCTTCTCCG  5,381–5,403    4  env-F  GAGGTGACTAAGAAAGATGAGGCGA  5,262–5,286  2,259    env-R  CATCTCCCCCTCCCTATGCGAAAGC  7,496–7,520    5  3΄UTR-F  GGCTTCGGTTGTACGCGGATAGGA  7,321–7,344  606    5΄UTR-R  CTTCCAACGACCCTCTGAGTGCTCG  511–535    View Large Genomic-DNA Extraction and PCR Amplification The DNA samples were extracted from the DF-1 cells infected with ALV-J by means of a DNA Extraction Kit (TAKARA, Dalian, China). Then, PCR amplification was conducted with different primers using provirus DNA samples as templates. The amplification of the gene was set up in a 50-μL reaction mixture containing 1 μL DNA, 5 μL 10× Taq buffer, 4 μL dNTPs (100 μmol/L), 1 μL each primer (2.5 pmoL/μL), and 38 μL double-distilled H2O. The conditions for PCR with primers ALV-F/R were as follows: 95°C for 5 min; followed by 31 cycles of 95°C for 50 s, 55°C for 40 s, and 72°C for 140 s; with a final elongation step of 10 min at 72°C. The PCR product was analyzed by electrophoresis in 0.8% agarose in Tris-acetate-EDTA buffer. The gel-purified PCR products were cloned into the pMD18-T vector (TAKARA, Dalian, China) and transfected into DH5α Escherichia coli competent cells. Positive clones were confirmed by the bacterial PCR and subjected to Sanger sequencing (BGI, Shenzhen, China). Sequence Analysis Sequence alignments were assembled with other ALV-J referential sequences retrieved from the National Center for Biotechnology Information database. The editing of nucleotide sequence was carried out by the Clustal Method in the MegAlign program of the DNAStar software package, ver. 7.01 (DNAStar Inc., Madison, WI). Phylogenetic analysis was based on the neighbor-joining method with 500 bootstrap replicates by MEGA ver. 5.1 (Tamura et al., 2007). The GenBank accession numbers of the strains used in this study are listed in Table 2. Table 2. The ALV-J reference strains used in this study. Strains  Year  Country  Host  Tumor type  Length (bp)  Genbank No.  NHH  2007  China  Commercial layer  He  7,607  HM235668  GD1109  2011  China  Commercial layer  He  7,653  JX254901  HLJ09MDJ-1  2009  China  Hy-Line layer  He  7,670  JN624878  SCDY1  2009  China  Grandparent breed  He  7,489  HQ425636  JL09JL3-1  2009  China  Commercial layer  He  7,670  JN624878  SD09DP03  2009  China  Commercial layer  He  7,633  JN624880  JS09GY3  2009  China  Commercial layer  He and ML  7,663  GU982308  NX0101  1999  China  Meat-type chicken  ML  7,688  DQ115805  HPRS-103  1988  USA  Meat-type chicken  ML  7,841  Z46390  SDAU1701  2017  China  Hy-Line layer  He  7,630  KY980657  SDAU1702  2017  China  Hy-Line layer  He  7,610  KY980658  SDAU1703  2017  China  Hy-Line layer  He  7,630  KY980659  SDAU1704  2017  China  Hy-Line layer  He  7,612  KY980660  SDAU1705  2017  China  Hy-Line layer  He  7,629  KY980661  SDAU1706  2017  China  Hy-Line layer  He  7,629  KY980662  Strains  Year  Country  Host  Tumor type  Length (bp)  Genbank No.  NHH  2007  China  Commercial layer  He  7,607  HM235668  GD1109  2011  China  Commercial layer  He  7,653  JX254901  HLJ09MDJ-1  2009  China  Hy-Line layer  He  7,670  JN624878  SCDY1  2009  China  Grandparent breed  He  7,489  HQ425636  JL09JL3-1  2009  China  Commercial layer  He  7,670  JN624878  SD09DP03  2009  China  Commercial layer  He  7,633  JN624880  JS09GY3  2009  China  Commercial layer  He and ML  7,663  GU982308  NX0101  1999  China  Meat-type chicken  ML  7,688  DQ115805  HPRS-103  1988  USA  Meat-type chicken  ML  7,841  Z46390  SDAU1701  2017  China  Hy-Line layer  He  7,630  KY980657  SDAU1702  2017  China  Hy-Line layer  He  7,610  KY980658  SDAU1703  2017  China  Hy-Line layer  He  7,630  KY980659  SDAU1704  2017  China  Hy-Line layer  He  7,612  KY980660  SDAU1705  2017  China  Hy-Line layer  He  7,629  KY980661  SDAU1706  2017  China  Hy-Line layer  He  7,629  KY980662  View Large Table 2. The ALV-J reference strains used in this study. Strains  Year  Country  Host  Tumor type  Length (bp)  Genbank No.  NHH  2007  China  Commercial layer  He  7,607  HM235668  GD1109  2011  China  Commercial layer  He  7,653  JX254901  HLJ09MDJ-1  2009  China  Hy-Line layer  He  7,670  JN624878  SCDY1  2009  China  Grandparent breed  He  7,489  HQ425636  JL09JL3-1  2009  China  Commercial layer  He  7,670  JN624878  SD09DP03  2009  China  Commercial layer  He  7,633  JN624880  JS09GY3  2009  China  Commercial layer  He and ML  7,663  GU982308  NX0101  1999  China  Meat-type chicken  ML  7,688  DQ115805  HPRS-103  1988  USA  Meat-type chicken  ML  7,841  Z46390  SDAU1701  2017  China  Hy-Line layer  He  7,630  KY980657  SDAU1702  2017  China  Hy-Line layer  He  7,610  KY980658  SDAU1703  2017  China  Hy-Line layer  He  7,630  KY980659  SDAU1704  2017  China  Hy-Line layer  He  7,612  KY980660  SDAU1705  2017  China  Hy-Line layer  He  7,629  KY980661  SDAU1706  2017  China  Hy-Line layer  He  7,629  KY980662  Strains  Year  Country  Host  Tumor type  Length (bp)  Genbank No.  NHH  2007  China  Commercial layer  He  7,607  HM235668  GD1109  2011  China  Commercial layer  He  7,653  JX254901  HLJ09MDJ-1  2009  China  Hy-Line layer  He  7,670  JN624878  SCDY1  2009  China  Grandparent breed  He  7,489  HQ425636  JL09JL3-1  2009  China  Commercial layer  He  7,670  JN624878  SD09DP03  2009  China  Commercial layer  He  7,633  JN624880  JS09GY3  2009  China  Commercial layer  He and ML  7,663  GU982308  NX0101  1999  China  Meat-type chicken  ML  7,688  DQ115805  HPRS-103  1988  USA  Meat-type chicken  ML  7,841  Z46390  SDAU1701  2017  China  Hy-Line layer  He  7,630  KY980657  SDAU1702  2017  China  Hy-Line layer  He  7,610  KY980658  SDAU1703  2017  China  Hy-Line layer  He  7,630  KY980659  SDAU1704  2017  China  Hy-Line layer  He  7,612  KY980660  SDAU1705  2017  China  Hy-Line layer  He  7,629  KY980661  SDAU1706  2017  China  Hy-Line layer  He  7,629  KY980662  View Large Ethics Statement The study protocol and all animal experiments were approved by the Shandong Agricultural University Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee. RESULTS Clinical Features and Histopathology The sick chickens showed symptoms of hemangioma during the autopsy, such as hepatomegaly with dark red blood blisters, toe joint swelling with blood bags, splenomegaly, and ovarian dysplasia (Figures 1A–1C). Histopathological examination revealed a large number hyperplasia of eosinophils and overabundance of red blood cells (Figures 1D and 1E), which are the pathognomonic signs of hemangioma. Figure 1. View largeDownload slide Lesions and histopathology analysis caused by ALV-J in Hy-Line chicken flocks. Figure 1. View largeDownload slide Lesions and histopathology analysis caused by ALV-J in Hy-Line chicken flocks. Isolation and Identification of the Virus Based on the clinical features, six plasma samples from the sick chickens were collected for virus isolation in DF-1 cells. No microscopically visible cytopathic effects were detected in the infected DF-1 cells. After three serial cell passages, the culture supernatants were tested for the p27 antigen by a commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kit, which were positive. The infected cells were detected by immunofluorescence assay using ALV-J-specific monoclonal antibody JE9; the results found many positive cells with cytoplasmic staining, while the nucleus without staining (Figures 2A and 2B). Furthermore, genomic RNA was extracted from samples positive for the p27 antigen and was amplified by RT-PCR with the ALV-specific universal primers, and only ALV could be amplified; no PCR products were obtained with primers specific for Marek's disease virus and reticuloendotheliosis virus (Figure 2C). Sequence analysis revealed that the viruses from the six sick chickens carried highly homologous sequences to those of the ALV-J reference sequences. Therefore, the six viruses were isolated and identified as ALV-J and named SDAU1701–SDAU1706. Figure 2. View largeDownload slide Immunofluorescence assay and PCR detection of DF-1 cells infected with plasmas from sick chickens. (A) DF-1 cells infected with plasmas inoculated with ALV-J-specific antibody JE9, 100×; (B) negative control, 100×. (3) Electrophoretogram of PCR product with specific primer for ALV, MDV, and REV. Figure 2. View largeDownload slide Immunofluorescence assay and PCR detection of DF-1 cells infected with plasmas from sick chickens. (A) DF-1 cells infected with plasmas inoculated with ALV-J-specific antibody JE9, 100×; (B) negative control, 100×. (3) Electrophoretogram of PCR product with specific primer for ALV, MDV, and REV. Sequence Analysis of the Proviral Genomes of Isolates SDAU1701–SDAU1706 The proviral genomes were amplified and had a full length of 7610–7630 nt (Table 2). The gp85 protein of the six isolates shared at least 87.7% amino acid sequence identity with the referential ALV-J strains retrieved from National Center for Biotechnology Information and showed ∼40% identity to the referential strains of ALV-A/B. Comparisons of the major structural genes with the ALV-J referential strains revealed that the LTR region and gag and pol genes of the six isolates were well conserved, sharing 89.2–97.7% nucleotide identity and 94.6–98.6% amino acid identity. Nonetheless, the env gene was found to be much more variable: the isolates shared only 90.2–93.0% nucleotide sequence identity and 88.2–91.9% amino acid sequence identity on the gp85 protein with one another (Table 3). Table 3. The similarity of nucleotide sequences and amino acid sequences between SDAU1701 and other reference strains.   Nucleotide sequences (%)  Amino acid sequences (%)  ALV-J strains  LTR  gag  pol  env  gag  pol  env  gp85  gp37  SDAU1702  99.1  98.7  97.7  95.8  98.4  98.1  94.2  92.2  99.0  SDAU1703  96.0  94.6  99.5  98.9  95.4  99.3  98.4  97.7  99.0  SDAU1704  98.8  99.0  99.3  96.6  98.7  99.3  95.4  92.5  100.0  SDAU1705  99.1  99.4  98.3  98.3  99.0  98.4  97.4  97.7  99.5  SDAU1706  100  100.0  99.7  99.8  100.0  99.5  99.8  99.7  100.0  SD09DP03  94.1  95.0  96.8  93.5  96.9  98.2  90.7  88.2  92.9  HLJ09MDJ-1  89.2  95.0  96.8  93.5  96.9  98.2  90.7  88.2  92.9  JL093-1  89.2  95.2  96.9  94.0  96.4  97.9  93.0  91.5  95.4  JS09GY3  90.4  94.7  96.8  93.1  97.3  98.5  92.1  89.6  94.9  NHH  91.1  96.3  96.3  93.5  98.4  97.4  91.5  90.2  91.8  GD1109  89.8  94.5  97.3  94.2  96.9  98.4  93.0  91.9  93.9  SCDY1  93.3  96.2  97.7  93.5  97.9  98.6  91.6  90.9  91.8  NX0101  93.2  94.2  97.0  92.6  94.6  97.1  90.2  88.6  92.3  HPRS-103  94.1  97.0  97.0  93.4  97.9  98.5  91.2  90.9  90.8    Nucleotide sequences (%)  Amino acid sequences (%)  ALV-J strains  LTR  gag  pol  env  gag  pol  env  gp85  gp37  SDAU1702  99.1  98.7  97.7  95.8  98.4  98.1  94.2  92.2  99.0  SDAU1703  96.0  94.6  99.5  98.9  95.4  99.3  98.4  97.7  99.0  SDAU1704  98.8  99.0  99.3  96.6  98.7  99.3  95.4  92.5  100.0  SDAU1705  99.1  99.4  98.3  98.3  99.0  98.4  97.4  97.7  99.5  SDAU1706  100  100.0  99.7  99.8  100.0  99.5  99.8  99.7  100.0  SD09DP03  94.1  95.0  96.8  93.5  96.9  98.2  90.7  88.2  92.9  HLJ09MDJ-1  89.2  95.0  96.8  93.5  96.9  98.2  90.7  88.2  92.9  JL093-1  89.2  95.2  96.9  94.0  96.4  97.9  93.0  91.5  95.4  JS09GY3  90.4  94.7  96.8  93.1  97.3  98.5  92.1  89.6  94.9  NHH  91.1  96.3  96.3  93.5  98.4  97.4  91.5  90.2  91.8  GD1109  89.8  94.5  97.3  94.2  96.9  98.4  93.0  91.9  93.9  SCDY1  93.3  96.2  97.7  93.5  97.9  98.6  91.6  90.9  91.8  NX0101  93.2  94.2  97.0  92.6  94.6  97.1  90.2  88.6  92.3  HPRS-103  94.1  97.0  97.0  93.4  97.9  98.5  91.2  90.9  90.8  View Large Table 3. The similarity of nucleotide sequences and amino acid sequences between SDAU1701 and other reference strains.   Nucleotide sequences (%)  Amino acid sequences (%)  ALV-J strains  LTR  gag  pol  env  gag  pol  env  gp85  gp37  SDAU1702  99.1  98.7  97.7  95.8  98.4  98.1  94.2  92.2  99.0  SDAU1703  96.0  94.6  99.5  98.9  95.4  99.3  98.4  97.7  99.0  SDAU1704  98.8  99.0  99.3  96.6  98.7  99.3  95.4  92.5  100.0  SDAU1705  99.1  99.4  98.3  98.3  99.0  98.4  97.4  97.7  99.5  SDAU1706  100  100.0  99.7  99.8  100.0  99.5  99.8  99.7  100.0  SD09DP03  94.1  95.0  96.8  93.5  96.9  98.2  90.7  88.2  92.9  HLJ09MDJ-1  89.2  95.0  96.8  93.5  96.9  98.2  90.7  88.2  92.9  JL093-1  89.2  95.2  96.9  94.0  96.4  97.9  93.0  91.5  95.4  JS09GY3  90.4  94.7  96.8  93.1  97.3  98.5  92.1  89.6  94.9  NHH  91.1  96.3  96.3  93.5  98.4  97.4  91.5  90.2  91.8  GD1109  89.8  94.5  97.3  94.2  96.9  98.4  93.0  91.9  93.9  SCDY1  93.3  96.2  97.7  93.5  97.9  98.6  91.6  90.9  91.8  NX0101  93.2  94.2  97.0  92.6  94.6  97.1  90.2  88.6  92.3  HPRS-103  94.1  97.0  97.0  93.4  97.9  98.5  91.2  90.9  90.8    Nucleotide sequences (%)  Amino acid sequences (%)  ALV-J strains  LTR  gag  pol  env  gag  pol  env  gp85  gp37  SDAU1702  99.1  98.7  97.7  95.8  98.4  98.1  94.2  92.2  99.0  SDAU1703  96.0  94.6  99.5  98.9  95.4  99.3  98.4  97.7  99.0  SDAU1704  98.8  99.0  99.3  96.6  98.7  99.3  95.4  92.5  100.0  SDAU1705  99.1  99.4  98.3  98.3  99.0  98.4  97.4  97.7  99.5  SDAU1706  100  100.0  99.7  99.8  100.0  99.5  99.8  99.7  100.0  SD09DP03  94.1  95.0  96.8  93.5  96.9  98.2  90.7  88.2  92.9  HLJ09MDJ-1  89.2  95.0  96.8  93.5  96.9  98.2  90.7  88.2  92.9  JL093-1  89.2  95.2  96.9  94.0  96.4  97.9  93.0  91.5  95.4  JS09GY3  90.4  94.7  96.8  93.1  97.3  98.5  92.1  89.6  94.9  NHH  91.1  96.3  96.3  93.5  98.4  97.4  91.5  90.2  91.8  GD1109  89.8  94.5  97.3  94.2  96.9  98.4  93.0  91.9  93.9  SCDY1  93.3  96.2  97.7  93.5  97.9  98.6  91.6  90.9  91.8  NX0101  93.2  94.2  97.0  92.6  94.6  97.1  90.2  88.6  92.3  HPRS-103  94.1  97.0  97.0  93.4  97.9  98.5  91.2  90.9  90.8  View Large Furthermore, the amino acid sequences of gp85 from the six strains were compared with nine referential strains, where 19 amino acid positions were found to be different from the sequences of NX0101 and HPRS-103 strains, which can induce myeloid leukosis. Among these amino acid sites, the mutations at 21st, 47th, 143rd, 206th, and 239th positions were identical to those strains inducing hemangioma, especially in SDAU1702, SDAU1703, SDAU1704, and SDAU1705 (Figure 3). Figure 3. View largeDownload slide Nucleic acid sequence alignments of the ALV gp85 region. Figure 3. View largeDownload slide Nucleic acid sequence alignments of the ALV gp85 region. Phylogenetic Relations Between Strains SDAU1701–SDAU1706 and other ALV-J strains The results of phylogenetic analysis of env, gp85, gp37, and LTR sequences of strains SDAU1701–SDAU1706 and 9 ALV-J referential strains indicated that the six newly isolated strains formed a new cluster, which was closely related to the isolates causing hemangioma and far from NX0101 and HPRS-103 that can induce a myeloid tumor (Figure 4). Figure 4. View largeDownload slide Phylogenetic relationship of the six isolates to referential ALV-J strains, based on the env gene (A), gp85 gene (B), gp37gene (C), and LTR (D). Figure 4. View largeDownload slide Phylogenetic relationship of the six isolates to referential ALV-J strains, based on the env gene (A), gp85 gene (B), gp37gene (C), and LTR (D). Recombination Analysis The recombination events in the complete proviral genomes were analyzed by RDP4, and several potential recombination events in ENV gene were detected, including two events in SDAU1701, and one in SDAU1702, which were supported by Bootscan (Figures 5A–5C) and ten other methods. All these events can be divided into three groups, named SDAU09C2 (ALV-B) and RSV-D (ALV-D), RSA-A (ALV-A) and EV-3 (ALV-E), SDAU1703 (ALV-J) and HN0001 (ALV-J) (Figure 5D). The above results suggest that the isolates are recombinant isolates. Figure 5. View largeDownload slide Bootscan analysis of the potential recombinant and major and minor parent sequences in the ENV gene of the isolates (A, B, C, D). The Bootscan was based on the pairwise distance model with a window size of 200, step size of 50, and 1,000 bootstrap replicates generated by the RDP4 program. Figure 5. View largeDownload slide Bootscan analysis of the potential recombinant and major and minor parent sequences in the ENV gene of the isolates (A, B, C, D). The Bootscan was based on the pairwise distance model with a window size of 200, step size of 50, and 1,000 bootstrap replicates generated by the RDP4 program. DISCUSSION RNA viruses have high mutational rates because of the lack of correction mechanism, so a viral population named quasispecies was formed (Bai et al., 1995; Smith et al., 1999; Silva et al., 2000). In China, there are many kinds of chickens infected with different serotypes of ALV, including A, B, J, and K (Payne and Nair, 2012; Li et al., 2016). Among them, ALV-J causes severe damages to the poultry industry (Xu et al., 2004; Sun and Cui, 2007; Pan et al., 2012; Li et al., 2013). ALV-J was first isolated in 1988 from white-meat-type chickens with myelocytomatosis and mainly causes myeloid leukosis in meat-type chickens (Venugopal et al., 2000). Then, hemangioma caused by ALV-J was first found in layer hens in 2006 in China (Xin et al., 2006). Since ALV was listed in the manual “National animal disease prevention and control for the medium and long term planning”, ALV has rarely occurred in layer hens and meat-type chickens, and no reports of hemangioma were published in the last three years. Why did hemangioma crop up again recently? Liu reported that two novel ALVs isolated from layer hens that cause hemangioma and myelocytomas may be the product of recombination between ALV-J and endogenous ALV-E previously (Liu et al., 2011). Therefore, mutations and recombination events in strain ALV-J may be the major reason for the extended tissue tropism. In this study, hemangioma appeared again in layer hens, and six strains of ALV-J were isolated and evaluated regarding similarities, phylogenetic relations, and amino acid substitutions. Analysis of the complete proviral genome sequence suggested that gag, pol, and gp37 of SDAU1701–SDAU1706 were relatively conserved as compared with nine referential strains as previously reported, but LTR and gp85 showed substantial variation, which may be associated with the viral replication capacity and pathogenicity (Barnard et al., 2006). All the newly isolated strains have deviated from the original strain and form an independent clade in the phylogenetic trees of the env, gp85, gp37 proteins and LTR sequences. Therefore, the amino acid sequences were compared, and we found amino acid substitutions that are similar to those strains causing hemangioma, such as the 21st, 47th, 143rd, 206th, and 239th positions; however, there are four distinctive mutations, namely, D/N/Q61T, T106A, G222T, and G238R. Of note, strains SDAU1701–SDAU1706 shared different mutations in LTR sequences with those referential strains and have six distinctive mutations—T74A, A75G, G94A, G181A, G191A, and T195C—giving rise to changes in regulatory elements. These data suggest that these mutations may be responsible for the altered oncogenicity in terms of hemangioma. In the present study, recombination analysis revealed that there was recombination in the ENV gene with the major and minor parent from different subgroups, which may be the key reason causing the occurrence of hemangioma. 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Poultry ScienceOxford University Press

Published: May 19, 2018

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