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Human-Derived A/Guangdong/Th005/2017 (H7N9) Exhibits Extremely High Replication in the Lungs of Ferrets and Is Highly Pathogenic in Chickens

by Shuran Gong 1,2, Feifei Qi 1,2, Fengdi Li 1,2, Qi Lv 1,2, Guanpeng Wang 1,2, Shunyi Wang 1,2, Jing Jiang 1,2, Lin Wang 1,2, Linlin Bao 1,2,* and Chuan Qin 1,2,*
Institute of Laboratory Animal Sciences, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences (CAMS) & Comparative Medicine Center, Peking Union Medical Collage (PUMC), 100021 Beijing, China
Key Laboratory of Human Disease Comparative Medicine, Ministry of Health, Beijing Key Laboratory for Animal Models of Emerging and Reemerging Infectious, 100021 Beijing, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Viruses 2019, 11(6), 494;
Received: 8 May 2019 / Revised: 26 May 2019 / Accepted: 28 May 2019 / Published: 29 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Viruses)
After a series of studies on the pathogenicity of several H7N9 strains from 2013 to 2018, we wanted to dynamically track the pathogenicity of A/Guangdong/Th005/2017 in ferrets and poultry. The pathogenicity and transmissibility of Th005, especially the distribution and replication in tissues, were studied in ferrets. We also aimed to assess the level of Th005 pathogenicity in chickens. The results showed that the pathogenicity of Th005 was significantly increased in ferrets and chickens, especially compared with the Anhui strain. The replication of Th005 in the lung tissues of ferrets was 100-fold higher than that of the Anhui strain. Th005 pathogenicity reached an intravenous pathogenicity index (IVPI) score of 3 in avian models. Continuously high titres of viruses could be detected in the cloacal cavity of chickens infected with Th005. Th005 remained highly pathogenic in mice and chickens after passaging in ferrets. High expression of both the α2,6- and α2,3-sialic acid residues in cells in vitro was beneficial to Th005 replication, which was enhanced compared to the Anhui strain. China needs to strengthen its surveillance of virulent influenza virus strains, such as Th005, which continues to increase in pathogenicity. View Full-Text
Keywords: H7N9; ferret; mouse; chicken; pathogenicity; transmissibility H7N9; ferret; mouse; chicken; pathogenicity; transmissibility
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MDPI and ACS Style

Gong, S.; Qi, F.; Li, F.; Lv, Q.; Wang, G.; Wang, S.; Jiang, J.; Wang, L.; Bao, L.; Qin, C. Human-Derived A/Guangdong/Th005/2017 (H7N9) Exhibits Extremely High Replication in the Lungs of Ferrets and Is Highly Pathogenic in Chickens. Viruses 2019, 11, 494.

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