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H5 highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses (HPAIV) have spread in both poultry and wild birds since late 2003. Continued circulation of HPAIV in poultry in several regions of the world has led to antigenic drift. In the present study, we analyzed the antigenic properties of H5 HPAIV isolated in Asia using four neutralizing mAbs recognizing hemagglutinin, which were established using A/chicken/Kumamoto/1-7/2014 (H5N8), belonging to clade 2.3.4.4 and also using polyclonal antibodies. Viruses of clades 1.1, 2.3.2.1, 2.3.4, and 2.3.4.4 had different reactivity patterns to the panel of mAbs, thereby indicating that the antigenicity of the viruses of clade 2.3.4.4 were similar but differed from the other clades. In particular, the antigenicity of the viruses of clade 2.3.4.4 differed from those of the viruses of clades 2.3.4 and 2.3.2.1, which suggests that the recent H5 HPAIV have further evolved antigenically divergent. In addition, reactivity of antiserum suggests that the antigenicity of viruses of clade 2.3.4.4 differed slightly among groups A, B, and C. Vaccines are still used in poultry in endemic countries, so the antigenicity of H5 HPAIV should be monitored continually to facilitate control of avian influenza. The panel of mAbs established in the present study will be useful for detecting antigenic drift in the H5 viruses that emerge from the current strains. © 2017 The Societies and John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.

Citation

Ayako Ohkawara, Masatoshi Okamatsu, Makoto Ozawa, Duc-Huy Chu, Lam Thanh Nguyen, Takahiro Hiono, Keita Matsuno, Hiroshi Kida, Yoshihiro Sakoda. Antigenic diversity of H5 highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses of clade 2.3.4.4 isolated in Asia. Microbiology and immunology. 2017 May;61(5):149-158

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PMID: 28370432

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