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Open AccessArticle

Comparative Pathogenicity and Transmissibility of the H7N9 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Virus and the H7N9 Low Pathogenic Avian Influenza Virus in Chickens

1
College of Veterinary Medicine, South China Agricultural University, 483 Wushan Road, Tianhe District, Guangzhou 510642, China
2
Department of Epidemiology, Public Health College, Harbin Medical University, Harbin 150081, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this article.
Viruses 2019, 11(11), 1047; https://doi.org/10.3390/v11111047
Received: 14 September 2019 / Revised: 1 November 2019 / Accepted: 6 November 2019 / Published: 10 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Viruses: Surveillance, Prevention, Evolution and Control)
There were five outbreaks of H7N9 influenza virus in humans in China since it emerged in 2013, infecting >1000 people. The H7N9 low pathogenic influenza virus was inserted into four amino acids in the HA protein cleavage site to mutate into the H7N9 highly pathogenic virus. This emerging virus caused 15 outbreaks in chickens from the end of 2016 to date. Two H7N9 avian influenza virus (AIV) strains, A/chicken/Guangdong/A46/2013 (LPAIV) and A/chicken/Guangdong/Q29/2017 (HPAIV), were selected to compare the pathogenicity and transmissibility between H7N9 LPAIVs and HPAIVs in chickens. We inoculated 3- to 4-week-old specific-pathogen-free (SPF) chickens with 6 log10EID50/0.1 mL viruses via the ocular-nasal route and co-housed four chickens in each group. The inoculated chicken mortality rate in the A46 and Q29 groups was 1/5 and 5/5, respectively. Q29 virus replication was more efficient compared to the A46 virus in inoculated chickens. Infected chickens initiated viral shedding to naïve contact chickens through respiratory and digestive routes. Both viruses transmitted between chickens by naïve contact, but the Q29 virus had a higher pathogenicity in contact chickens than the A46 virus. Compared with early H7N9 LPAIVs, the pathogenicity and transmissibility of the emerging H7N9 HPAIV was stronger in chickens, indicating that H7N9 influenza virus may continue to threaten human and poultry health. View Full-Text
Keywords: H7N9; avian influenza virus; pathogenicity; transmissibility; chickens H7N9; avian influenza virus; pathogenicity; transmissibility; chickens
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Yu, H.; Zhang, K.; Ye, X.; Wang, W.; Wu, W.; Wang, X.; Guan, Y.; He, Z.; Wang, Y.; Jiao, P. Comparative Pathogenicity and Transmissibility of the H7N9 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Virus and the H7N9 Low Pathogenic Avian Influenza Virus in Chickens. Viruses 2019, 11, 1047.

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