The pathogenicity and transmissibility of H9N2 influenza viruses has been widely investigated; however, few studies comparing the biological characteristics of H9N2 viruses isolated from different hosts have been performed. In this study, eight H9N2 viruses, isolated from chickens (Ck/F98, Ck/AH and Ck/TX), pigeons (Pg/XZ), quail/(Ql/A39), ducks (Dk/Y33) and swine (Sw/YZ and Sw/TZ) were selected, and their biological characteristics were determined. The results showed that all H9N2 viruses maintained a preference for both the avian- and human-type receptors, except for Sw/TZ, which had exclusive preference for the human-type receptor. The viruses replicated well in DF-1 and MDCK cells, whereas only three isolates, Ck/F98, Ck/TX and Sw/TZ, could replicate in A549 cells and also replicated in mouse lungs, resulting in body weight loss in mice. All H9N2 viruses were nonpathogenic to chickens and were detected in the trachea and lung tissues. The viruses were shed primarily by the oropharynx and were transmitted efficiently to naïve contact chickens. Our findings suggest that all H9N2 viruses from different hosts exhibit efficient replication and contact-transmission among chickens, and chickens serve as a good reservoir for the persistence and interspecies transmission of H9N2 influenza viruses.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 1, 2015
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