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August 05, 2005

Characterization of a human H5N1 influenza A virus isolated in 2003.

J Virol. 2005 Aug; 79(15): 9926-32
Shinya K, Hatta M, Yamada S, Takada A, Watanabe S, Halfmann P, Horimoto T, Neumann G, Kim JH, Lim W, Guan Y, Peiris M, Kiso M, Suzuki T, Suzuki Y, Kawaoka Y

In 2003, H5N1 avian influenza virus infections were diagnosed in two Hong Kong residents who had visited the Fujian province in mainland China, affording us the opportunity to characterize one of the viral isolates, A/Hong Kong/213/03 (HK213; H5N1). In contrast to H5N1 viruses isolated from humans during the 1997 outbreak in Hong Kong, HK213 retained several features of aquatic bird viruses, including the lack of a deletion in the neuraminidase stalk and the absence of additional oligosaccharide chains at the globular head of the hemagglutinin molecule. It demonstrated weak pathogenicity in mice and ferrets but caused lethal infection in chickens. The original isolate failed to produce disease in ducks but became more pathogenic after five passages. Taken together, these findings portray the HK213 isolate as an aquatic avian influenza A virus without the molecular changes associated with the replication of H5N1 avian viruses in land-based poultry such as chickens. This case challenges the view that adaptation to land-based poultry is a prerequisite for the replication of aquatic avian influenza A viruses in humans.

Posted by dymaxion at August 5, 2005 02:27 PM

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