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Viruses 2018, 10(1), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/v10010031

Phylogenetic Analysis and Characterization of a Sporadic Isolate of Equine Influenza A H3N8 from an Unvaccinated Horse in 2015

1
Department of Biology and Microbiology, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD 57007, USA
2
Cambridge Technologies, Oxford Street Worthington, MN 56187, USA
3
Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD 57007, USA
4
Gluck Equine Research Center, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40546, USA
5
BioSNTR, Brookings, SD 57007, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 December 2017 / Revised: 7 January 2018 / Accepted: 9 January 2018 / Published: 11 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Viruses)
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Abstract

Equine influenza, caused by the H3N8 subtype, is a highly contagious respiratory disease affecting equid populations worldwide and has led to serious epidemics and transboundary pandemics. This study describes the phylogenetic characterization and replication kinetics of recently-isolated H3N8 virus from a nasal swab obtained from a sporadic case of natural infection in an unvaccinated horse from Montana, USA. The nasal swab tested positive for equine influenza by Real-Time Quantitative Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR). Further, the whole genome sequencing of the virus confirmed that it was the H3N8 subtype and was designated as A/equine/Montana/9564-1/2015 (H3N8). A BLASTn search revealed that the polymerase basic protein 1 (PB1), polymerase acidic (PA), hemagglutinin (HA), nucleoprotein (NP), and matrix (M) segments of this H3N8 isolate shared the highest percentage identity to A/equine/Tennessee/29A/2014 (H3N8) and the polymerase basic protein 2 (PB2), neuraminidase (NA), and non-structural protein (NS) segments to A/equine/Malaysia/M201/2015 (H3N8). Phylogenetic characterization of individual gene segments, using currently available H3N8 viral genomes, of both equine and canine origin, further established that A/equine/Montana/9564-1/2015 belonged to the Florida Clade 1 viruses. Interestingly, replication kinetics of this H3N8 virus, using airway derived primary cells from multiple species, such as equine, swine, bovine, and human lung epithelial cells, demonstrated appreciable titers, when compared to Madin–Darby canine kidney epithelial cells. These findings indicate the broad host spectrum of this virus isolate and suggest the potential for cross-species transmissibility. View Full-Text
Keywords: equine influenza H3N8; horses; Florida Clade 1; lineages; hemagglutinin equine influenza H3N8; horses; Florida Clade 1; lineages; hemagglutinin
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Sreenivasan, C.C.; Jandhyala, S.S.; Luo, S.; Hause, B.M.; Thomas, M.; Knudsen, D.E.B.; Leslie-Steen, P.; Clement, T.; Reedy, S.E.; Chambers, T.M.; Christopher-Hennings, J.; Nelson, E.; Wang, D.; Kaushik, R.S.; Li, F. Phylogenetic Analysis and Characterization of a Sporadic Isolate of Equine Influenza A H3N8 from an Unvaccinated Horse in 2015. Viruses 2018, 10, 31.

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