Influenza viruses isolated from wild ducks do not replicate in chickens. This fact is not explained solely by the receptor specificity of the hemagglutinin (HA) from such viruses for target host cells. To investigate this restriction in host range, the fusion activities of HA molecules from duck and chicken influenza viruses were examined. Influenza viruses A/duck/Mongolia/54/2001 (H5N2) (Dk/MNG) and A/chicken/Ibaraki/1/2005 (H5N2) (Ck/IBR), which replicate only in their primary hosts, were used. The optimal pH for membrane fusion of Ck/IBR was 5.9, higher than that of Dk/MNG at 4.9. To assess the relationship between the optimal pH for fusion and the host range of avian influenza viruses, the optimal pH for fusion of 55 influenza virus strains isolated from ducks and chickens was examined. No correlation was found between the host range and optimal pH for membrane fusion by the viruses, and this finding applied also to the H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses. The optimal pH for membrane fusion for avian influenza viruses was shown to not necessarily be correlated with their host range or pathogenicity in ducks and chickens.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: May 26, 2016
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