A highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAIV) of subtype H5N8, A/chicken/Kumamoto/1-7/2014, was isolated from a Japanese chicken farm during an outbreak in April 2014. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that this virus belonged to HA clade 220.127.116.11. All eight genomic segments showed high sequence similarity to those of the H5N8 subtype HPAIVs A/broiler duck/Korea/Buan2/2014 and A/baikal teal/Korea/Donglim3/2014, which were isolated in Korea in January 2014. Intranasal experimental infection of chickens and ducks with A/chicken/Kumamoto/1-7/2014 was performed to assess the pathogenicity of the virus in chickens and the potential for waterfowl to act as a virus reservoir and carrier. A high-titer virus challenge (10 6 EID 50 per animal) was lethal in chickens, but they were unaffected by lower virus doses (10 2 EID 50 or 10 4 EID 50 per animal). Virus challenge at all doses examined was found to result in asymptomatic infection of ducks. An HI assay revealed that A/chicken/Kumamoto/1-7/2014 possessed relatively low cross-reactivity with H5 viruses belonging to clades other than clade 18.104.22.168. These results suggest that waterfowl may be able to spread the virus even if they possess antibodies resulting from a previous infection with H5 HPAIV that was antigenically distinguishable from viruses belonging to clade 22.214.171.124.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 1, 2015
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