Aerosol transmission of gull-origin Iceland subtype H10N7 influenza A virus in ferrets

Journal of Virology
By: , and 

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Abstract

Subtype H10 influenza A viruses (IAVs) have been recovered from domestic poultry and various aquatic bird species, and sporadic transmission of these IAVs from avian species to mammals (i.e., human, seal, and mink) are well documented. In 2015, we isolated four H10N7 viruses from gulls in Iceland. Genomic analyses showed four gene segments in the viruses were genetically associated with H10 IAVs that caused influenza outbreaks and deaths among European seals in 2014. Antigenic characterization suggested minimal antigenic variation among these H10N7 isolates and other archived H10 viruses recovered from human, seal, mink, and various avian species in Asia, Europe, and North America. Glycan binding preference analyses suggested that, similar to other avian-origin H10 IAVs, these gull-origin H10N7 IAVs bound to both avian-like alpha 2,3-linked sialic acids and human-like alpha 2,6-linked sialic acids. However, when the gull-origin viruses were compared with another Eurasian avian–origin H10N8 IAV, which caused human infections, the gull-origin virus showed significantly higher binding affinity to human-like glycan receptors. Results from ferret experiment demonstrated that a gull-origin H10N7 IAV replicated well in turbinate, trachea, and lung, but replication was most efficient in turbinate and trachea. This gull-origin H10N7 virus can be transmitted between ferrets through the direct contact and aerosol routes, without prior adaptation. Gulls share their habitat with other birds and mammals, and have frequent contact with humans; therefore, gull-origin H10N7 IAVs could pose a risk to public health. Surveillance and monitoring of these IAVs at the wild bird-human interface should be continued.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Aerosol transmission of gull-origin Iceland subtype H10N7 influenza A virus in ferrets
Series title Journal of Virology
DOI 10.1128/JVI.00282-19
Edition Online First
Year Published 2019
Language English
Publisher American Society for Microbiology
Contributing office(s) National Wildlife Health Center