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Respiratory transmission of an avian H3N8 influenza virus isolated from a harbour seal

Nature Communications

By:
, , , , , , , and
https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms5791

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Abstract

The ongoing human H7N9 influenza infections highlight the threat of emerging avian influenza viruses. In 2011, an avian H3N8 influenza virus isolated from moribund New England harbour seals was shown to have naturally acquired mutations known to increase the transmissibility of highly pathogenic H5N1 influenza viruses. To elucidate the potential human health threat, here we evaluate a panel of avian H3N8 viruses and find that the harbour seal virus displays increased affinity for mammalian receptors, transmits via respiratory droplets in ferrets and replicates in human lung cells. Analysis of a panel of human sera for H3N8 neutralizing antibodies suggests that there is no population-wide immunity to these viruses. The prevalence of H3N8 viruses in birds and multiple mammalian species including recent isolations from pigs and evidence that it was a past human pandemic virus make the need for surveillance and risk analysis of these viruses of public health importance.

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Respiratory transmission of an avian H3N8 influenza virus isolated from a harbour seal
Series title:
Nature Communications
DOI:
10.1038/ncomms5791
Volume:
5
Year Published:
2014
Language:
English
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Contributing office(s):
National Wildlife Health Center
Description:
4791; 7 p.
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Nature Communications