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Article

H7N7 Avian Influenza Virus Mutation from Low to High Pathogenicity on a Layer Chicken Farm in the UK

1
Department of Virology, Animal and Plant Health Agency-Weybridge, Woodham Lane, New Haw, Addlestone, Surrey KT15 3NB, UK
2
Pathology and Animal Sciences, Animal and Plant Health Agency-Weybridge, Woodham Lane, New Haw, Addlestone, Surrey KT15 3NB, UK
3
Field Delivery, Animal and Plant Health Agency-Manchester, Manchester Airport, Manchester M90 5PZ, UK
4
Field Delivery, Animal and Plant Health Agency-Crewe, Hornbeam House, Electra Way, Crewe, Cheshire CW1 6GJ, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editors: El-Sayed Mohammed Abdel-Whab and Angele Breithaupt
Viruses 2021, 13(2), 259; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13020259
Received: 30 December 2020 / Revised: 2 February 2021 / Accepted: 3 February 2021 / Published: 8 February 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Evolution and Pathogenesis of Avian and Animal Influenza Viruses)
Avian influenza virus (AIV) subtypes H5 and H7 are capable of mutating from low to high pathogenicity strains, causing high mortality in poultry with significant economic losses globally. During 2015, two outbreaks of H7N7 low pathogenicity AIV (LPAIV) in Germany, and one each in the United Kingdom (UK) and The Netherlands occurred, as well as single outbreaks of H7N7 high pathogenicity AIV (HPAIV) in Germany and the UK. Both HPAIV outbreaks were linked to precursor H7N7 LPAIV outbreaks on the same or adjacent premises. Herein, we describe the clinical, epidemiological, and virological investigations for the H7N7 UK HPAIV outbreak on a farm with layer chickens in mixed free-range and caged units. H7N7 HPAIV was identified and isolated from clinical samples, as well as H7N7 LPAIV, which could not be isolated. Using serological and molecular evidence, we postulate how the viruses spread throughout the premises, indicating potential points of incursion and possible locations for the mutation event. Serological and mortality data suggested that the LPAIV infection preceded the HPAIV infection and afforded some clinical protection against the HPAIV. These results document the identification of a LPAIV to HPAIV mutation in nature, providing insights into factors that drive its manifestation during outbreaks. View Full-Text
Keywords: H7; avian influenza; outbreak; low pathogenicity; high pathogenicity; poultry H7; avian influenza; outbreak; low pathogenicity; high pathogenicity; poultry
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MDPI and ACS Style

Byrne, A.M.P.; Reid, S.M.; Seekings, A.H.; Núñez, A.; Obeso Prieto, A.B.; Ridout, S.; Warren, C.J.; Puranik, A.; Ceeraz, V.; Essen, S.; Slomka, M.J.; Banks, J.; Brown, I.H.; Brookes, S.M. H7N7 Avian Influenza Virus Mutation from Low to High Pathogenicity on a Layer Chicken Farm in the UK. Viruses 2021, 13, 259. https://doi.org/10.3390/v13020259

AMA Style

Byrne AMP, Reid SM, Seekings AH, Núñez A, Obeso Prieto AB, Ridout S, Warren CJ, Puranik A, Ceeraz V, Essen S, Slomka MJ, Banks J, Brown IH, Brookes SM. H7N7 Avian Influenza Virus Mutation from Low to High Pathogenicity on a Layer Chicken Farm in the UK. Viruses. 2021; 13(2):259. https://doi.org/10.3390/v13020259

Chicago/Turabian Style

Byrne, Alexander M. P., Scott M. Reid, Amanda H. Seekings, Alejandro Núñez, Ana B. Obeso Prieto, Susan Ridout, Caroline J. Warren, Anita Puranik, Vanessa Ceeraz, Stephen Essen, Marek J. Slomka, Jill Banks, Ian H. Brown, and Sharon M. Brookes. 2021. "H7N7 Avian Influenza Virus Mutation from Low to High Pathogenicity on a Layer Chicken Farm in the UK" Viruses 13, no. 2: 259. https://doi.org/10.3390/v13020259

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