Send to

Choose Destination
J Virol. 2007 Feb;81(4):1838-47. Epub 2006 Nov 22.

Amelioration of influenza virus pathogenesis in chickens attributed to the enhanced interferon-inducing capacity of a virus with a truncated NS1 gene.

Author information

Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory, ARS/USDA, 934 College Station Road, Athens, GA 30605, USA.


Avian influenza virus (AIV) A/turkey/Oregon/71-SEPRL (TK/OR/71-SEPRL) (H7N3) encodes a full-length NS1 protein and is a weak inducer of interferon (IFN). A variant, TK/OR/71-delNS1 (H7N3), produces a truncated NS1 protein and is a strong inducer of IFN. These otherwise genetically related variants differ 20-fold in their capacities to induce IFN in primary chicken embryo cells but are similar in their sensitivities to the action of IFN. Furthermore, the weak IFN-inducing strain actively suppresses IFN induction in cells that are otherwise programmed to produce it. These phenotypic differences are attributed to the enhanced IFN-inducing capacity that characterizes type A influenza virus strains that produce defective NS1 protein. The pathogenesis of these two variants was evaluated in 1-day-old and 4-week-old chickens. The cell tropisms of both viruses were similar. However, the lesions in chickens produced by the weak IFN inducer were more severe and differed somewhat in character from those observed for the strong IFN inducer. Differences in lesions included the nature of inflammation, the rate of resolution of the infection, and the extent of viral replication and/or virus dissemination. The amelioration of pathogenesis is attributed to the higher levels of IFN produced by the variant encoding the truncated NS1 protein and the antiviral state subsequently induced by that IFN. The high titer of virus observed in kidney tissue ( approximately 10(9) 50% embryo lethal doses/g) from 1-day-old chickens infected intravenously by the weak IFN-inducing strain is attributed to the capacity of chicken kidney cells to activate the hemagglutinin fusion peptide along with their unresponsiveness to inducers of IFN as measured in vitro. Thus, the IFN-inducing capacity of AIV appears to be a significant factor in regulating the pathogenesis, virulence, and viral transmission of AIV in chickens. This suggests that the IFN-inducing and IFN induction suppression phenotypes of AIV should be considered when characterizing strains of influenza virus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center