Archives of Virology

, Volume 159, Issue 9, pp 2243–2252 | Cite as

A nonpathogenic duck-origin H9N2 influenza A virus adapts to high pathogenicity in mice

  • Qingtao Liu
  • Hongzhi Chen
  • Junqing Huang
  • Yuxin Chen
  • Min Gu
  • Xiaoquan Wang
  • Shunlin Hu
  • Xiaowen Liu
  • Xiufan LiuEmail author
Original Article


H9N2 influenza viruses continue to circulate in wild birds and poultry in Eurasian countries and have repeatedly infected mammals, including pigs and humans, posing a significant threat to public health. To understand the adaptation of H9N2 influenza viruses to mammals, we serially passaged a nonpathogenic duck-origin H9N2 influenza virus, A/duck/Jiangsu/1/2008 (DK1), in mouse lungs. Increased virulence was detectable after five sequential passages, and a highly pathogenic mouse-adapted strain (DK1-MA) with a 50 % mouse lethal dose of 102.37 50 % egg infectious dose was obtained after 18 passages. DK1-MA grew faster and reached significantly higher titers than DK1 in mouse lungs and could sporadically spread to other organs. Moreover, DK1-MA induced a greater magnitude of pulmonary edema and higher levels of inflammatory cellular infiltration in bronchoalveolar lavage fluids than DK1 did. Genomic sequence alignment revealed eight amino acid substitutions (HA-L80F, HA-N193D, NA-A27T, PB2-F404L, PA-D3V, PA-S225R, NP-V105M, M1-A166V) in six viral proteins of DK1-MA compared with DK1 virus. Except for HA-L80F, the other seven substitutions were all located in known functional regions involved in interaction of viral proteins or interaction between the virus and host factors. Taken together, our results suggest that multiple amino acid substitutions may be involved in the adaptation of H9N2 avian influenza virus to mice, resulting in lethal infection, enhanced viral replication, severe pulmonary edema, and excessive inflammatory cellular infiltration in lungs. These observations provide helpful insights into the pathogenic potential of H9N2 avian influenza viruses that could pose threats to human health in the future.


Influenza Influenza Virus H9N2 Virus Avian Influenza Virus Mouse Lung 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was supported by the Earmarked Fund for Modern Agro-Industry Technology Research System (grant no. nycytx-41-G07), the Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions (PAPD), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant no. 31101827), and the National High-Tech R&D Program of China (863 Program) (grant no. 2011AA10A200).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Qingtao Liu
    • 1
  • Hongzhi Chen
    • 1
  • Junqing Huang
    • 1
  • Yuxin Chen
    • 1
  • Min Gu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xiaoquan Wang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Shunlin Hu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xiaowen Liu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xiufan Liu
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Animal Infectious Disease Laboratory, College of Veterinary MedicineYangzhou UniversityYangzhouChina
  2. 2.Jiangsu Co-innovation Center for Prevention and Control of Important Animal Infectious Diseases and ZoonosesYangzhouChina

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