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Emergence of fatal avian influenza in New England harbor seals

mBio

By:
, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
DOI: 10.1128/mBio.00166-12

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Abstract

From September to December 2011, 162 New England harbor seals died in an outbreak of pneumonia. Sequence analysis of postmortem samples revealed the presence of an avian H3N8 influenza A virus, similar to a virus circulating in North American waterfowl since at least 2002 but with mutations that indicate recent adaption to mammalian hosts. These include a D701N mutation in the viral PB2 protein, previously reported in highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza viruses infecting people. Lectin staining and agglutination assays indicated the presence of the avian-preferred SAα-2,3 and mammalian SAα-2,6 receptors in seal respiratory tract, and the ability of the virus to agglutinate erythrocytes bearing either the SAα-2,3 or the SAα-2,6 receptor. The emergence of this A/harbor seal/Massachusetts/1/2011 virus may herald the appearance of an H3N8 influenza clade with potential for persistence and cross-species transmission.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Emergence of fatal avian influenza in New England harbor seals
Series title:
mBio
DOI:
10.1128/mBio.00166-12
Volume
3
Issue:
4
Year Published:
2012
Language:
English
Publisher:
American Society for Microbiology
Publisher location:
Washington, D.C.
Contributing office(s):
National Wildlife Health Center
Description:
published online, 10 p.
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Country:
United States
Other Geospatial:
New England;Massachusetts