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Article

Low Pathogenicity H7N3 Avian Influenza Viruses Have Higher Within-Host Genetic Diversity Than a Closely Related High Pathogenicity H7N3 Virus in Infected Turkeys and Chickens

Exotic and Emerging Avian Viral Diseases Research Unit, Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory, United States National Poultry Research Center, Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture, Athens, GA 30605, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Current address: Department of Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849, USA.
Academic Editors: Alice Fusaro and Isabella Monne
Viruses 2022, 14(3), 554; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14030554
Received: 9 February 2022 / Revised: 3 March 2022 / Accepted: 4 March 2022 / Published: 8 March 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drivers of Evolution of Animal RNA Viruses)
Within-host viral diversity offers a view into the early stages of viral evolution occurring after a virus infects a host. In recent years, advances in deep sequencing have allowed for routine identification of low-frequency variants, which are important sources of viral genetic diversity and can potentially emerge as a major virus population under certain conditions. We examined within-host viral diversity in turkeys and chickens experimentally infected with closely related H7N3 avian influenza viruses (AIVs), specifically one high pathogenicity AIV (HPAIV) and two low pathogenicity AIV (LPAIVs) with different neuraminidase protein stalk lengths. Consistent with the high mutation rates of AIVs, an abundance of intra-host single nucleotide variants (iSNVs) at low frequencies of 2–10% was observed in all samples collected. Furthermore, a small number of common iSNVs were observed between turkeys and chickens, and between directly inoculated and contact-exposed birds. Notably, the LPAIVs have significantly higher iSNV diversities and frequencies of nonsynonymous changes than the HPAIV in both turkeys and chickens. These findings highlight the dynamics of AIV populations within hosts and the potential impact of genetic changes, including mutations in the hemagglutinin gene that confers the high pathogenicity pathotype, on AIV virus populations and evolution. View Full-Text
Keywords: low pathogenicity avian influenza; high pathogenicity avian influenza; within-host diversity; virus evolution; high throughput sequencing; chickens; turkeys low pathogenicity avian influenza; high pathogenicity avian influenza; within-host diversity; virus evolution; high throughput sequencing; chickens; turkeys
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MDPI and ACS Style

Leyson, C.M.; Criado, M.F.; Youk, S.; Pantin-Jackwood, M.J. Low Pathogenicity H7N3 Avian Influenza Viruses Have Higher Within-Host Genetic Diversity Than a Closely Related High Pathogenicity H7N3 Virus in Infected Turkeys and Chickens. Viruses 2022, 14, 554. https://doi.org/10.3390/v14030554

AMA Style

Leyson CM, Criado MF, Youk S, Pantin-Jackwood MJ. Low Pathogenicity H7N3 Avian Influenza Viruses Have Higher Within-Host Genetic Diversity Than a Closely Related High Pathogenicity H7N3 Virus in Infected Turkeys and Chickens. Viruses. 2022; 14(3):554. https://doi.org/10.3390/v14030554

Chicago/Turabian Style

Leyson, Christina M., Miriã F. Criado, Sungsu Youk, and Mary J. Pantin-Jackwood. 2022. "Low Pathogenicity H7N3 Avian Influenza Viruses Have Higher Within-Host Genetic Diversity Than a Closely Related High Pathogenicity H7N3 Virus in Infected Turkeys and Chickens" Viruses 14, no. 3: 554. https://doi.org/10.3390/v14030554

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