Publications by authors named "Shenghua Qu"

13 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

A quasispecies in a BHK-21 cell-derived virulent Tembusu virus strain contains three groups of variants with distinct virulence phenotypes.

Vet Microbiol 2021 Dec 12;263:109252. Epub 2021 Oct 12.

Key Laboratory of Animal Epidemiology of the Ministry of Agriculture, College of Veterinary Medicine, China Agricultural University, Beijing, People's Republic of China. Electronic address:

Previous studies resulted in the isolation of a low-virulence plaque-purified variant from the third passage (P3) in BHK-21 cells of a Tembusu virus (TMUV) isolate, suggesting the presence of viral quasispecies in the P3 culture. To confirm this notion, the fourth passage virus (P4) was prepared by infecting BHK-21 cells with P3 for isolation of more variants. We isolated 10 plaque-purified viruses. Comparative genome sequence analysis identified six of the 10 viruses as genetically different variants, which harbored a total of eight amino acid differences in the envelope, NS1, NS3, and NS5 proteins. When tested in a 2-day-old Pekin duck model, P4 caused 80 % mortality, belonging to a high-virulence TMUV strain. Out of the six genetically different variants, two presented high-virulence, one exhibited moderate-virulence, and three displayed low-virulence, causing 60 %-70 %, 40 %, and 10 % mortalities, respectively. These results demonstrate that P4 contains at least three groups of variants with distinct virulence phenotypes. Analysis of links between the eight residues and virulence of the six variants identified NS1 protein residue 183 and NS5 protein residues 275 and/or 287 as novel determinants of TMUV virulence. The analysis also provided a new clue for future studies on the molecular basis of TMUV virulence in terms of genetic interaction of different proteins. Overall, our study provides direct evidence to suggest that TMUV exists in in vitro culture of a virulent isolate as a quasispecies, which may enhance our understanding of molecular mechanism of TMUV virulence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetmic.2021.109252DOI Listing
December 2021

Mapping of a unique epitope on domain III of the envelope protein of Tembusu virus.

Virus Res 2021 Dec 29;306:198582. Epub 2021 Sep 29.

Key Laboratory of Animal Epidemiology of the Ministry of Agriculture, College of Veterinary Medicine, China Agricultural University, No. 2 Yuanmingyuan West Road, Beijing, Haidian district 100193, People's Republic of China. Electronic address:

We recently developed a Tembusu virus (TMUV)-specific monoclonal antibody (MAb) 12F11, which was found to recognize a long amino acid sequence between residues 8 and 77 of domain III of the envelope protein (EDIII). Here, the epitope recognized by MAb 12F11 was mapped using alanine substitutions combined with dissociation constant analysis. The findings, and prediction of tertiary structure of TMUV EDIII, showed that the MAb 12F11 epitope contained one critical residue and 13 peripheral residues. Moreover, the antigenic site was shown to span four loops (N-terminal region, AB, BC, and CD) and three β-strands (A, B, and D). The present work contributes to the understanding of antigenic structure of TMUV envelope protein.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.virusres.2021.198582DOI Listing
December 2021

Substantial Attenuation of Virulence of Tembusu Virus Strain PS Is Determined by an Arginine at Residue 304 of the Envelope Protein.

J Virol 2021 02 24;95(6). Epub 2021 Feb 24.

Key Laboratory of Animal Epidemiology of the Ministry of Agriculture, College of Veterinary Medicine, China Agricultural University, Beijing, People's Republic of China

The Tembusu virus (TMUV) PS strain, derived by several passages and plaque purifications in BHK-21 cells, displays markedly lower virulence in Pekin ducklings relative to a natural isolate of TMUV, but the potential virulence determinants and the mechanisms for substantial virulence attenuation of the passage variant remain unknown. Here, we constructed a series of chimeric and mutant viruses and assessed their virulence using a 2-day-old Pekin duckling model. We showed that residue 304 in the envelope (E) protein is the molecular determinant of TMUV virulence. Further investigations with mutant and parental viruses demonstrated that acquisition of positive charges at E protein residue 304 plays a critical role in substantial attenuation of neurovirulence and neuroinvasiveness, which is linked to enhanced binding affinity for glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). In Pekin ducklings infected by subcutaneous inoculation, an Arg at residue 304 in the E protein was shown to contribute to more rapid virus clearance from the circulation, markedly reduced viremia, and significantly decreased viral growth in the extraneural tissues and the central nervous system, relative to a Met at the corresponding residue. These findings suggest that the mechanism of virulence attenuation of the TMUV passage variant closely resembles that proposed previously for GAG-binding variants of other flaviviruses. Overall, our study provides insight into the molecular basis of TMUV virulence and the consequences of acquisition of a GAG-binding determinant at residue 304 in the E protein of TMUV. TMUV-related disease emerged in 2010 and has a significant economic impact on the duck industry. Although the disease was originally recognized to affect adult ducks, increasing evidence has shown that TMUV also causes severe disease of young ducklings. It is, therefore, essential to investigate the pathogenesis of TMUV infection in a young duckling model. The significance of our studies is in identifying E protein residue Arg304 as the molecular determinant for TMUV virulence and in clarifying the crucial role of positive charges at E protein residue 304 in virulence attenuation of a TMUV passage variant. These data will greatly enhance our understanding of the pathogenesis of TMUV infection in ducklings and have implications for development of a safe and efficient vaccine.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.02331-20DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8094961PMC
February 2021

The Neutralizing Antibody Response Elicited by Tembusu Virus Is Affected Dramatically by a Single Mutation in the Stem Region of the Envelope Protein.

Front Microbiol 2020 22;11:585194. Epub 2020 Oct 22.

Key Laboratory of Animal Epidemiology and Zoonosis of Ministry of Agriculture, College of Veterinary Medicine, China Agricultural University, Beijing, China.

Tembusu virus (TMUV) is a mosquito-borne flavivirus that most commonly affects adult breeder and layer ducks. However, a TMUV-caused neurological disease has also been found in ducklings below 7 weeks of age, highlighting the need to develop a safe vaccine for young ducklings. In this study, a plaque-purified PS TMUV strain was attenuated by serial passage in BHK-21 cells. Using 1-day-old Pekin ducklings as a model, the virus was confirmed to be attenuated sufficiently after 180 passages, whereas the neutralizing antibody response elicited by the 180th passage virus (PS180) was substantially impaired compared with PS. The findings suggest that sufficient attenuation results in loss of immunogenicity in the development of the live-attenuated TMUV vaccine. Comparative sequence analysis revealed that PS180 acquired one mutation (V41M) in prM and four mutations (T70A, Y176H, K313R, and F408L) in the envelope (E) protein. To identify the amino acid substitution(s) associated with loss of immunogenicity of PS180, we rescued parental viruses, rPS and rPS180, and produced mutant viruses, rPS180-M41V, rPS180-A70T, rPS180-H176Y, rPS180-R313K, rPS180-L408F, and rPS180-M5, which contained residue 41V in prM, residues 70T, 176Y, 313K, and 408F in E, and combination of the five residues, respectively, of PS in the backbone of the rPS180 genome. The neutralizing antibody response elicited by rPS180-L408F and rPS180-M5 was significantly higher than those by other mutant viruses and comparable to that by rPS. Furthermore, we produced mutant virus rPS-F408L, which contained residue 408L of PS180 in the backbone of the rPS genome. The F408L mutation conferred significantly decreased neutralizing antibody response to rPS-F408L, which was comparable to that elicited by rPS180. Based on homologous modeling, residue 408 was predicted to be located within the first helical domain of the stem region of the E protein (EH1). Together, these data demonstrate that a single mutation within the EH1 domain exerts a dramatical impact on the TMUV neutralizing antibody response. The present work may enhance our understanding of molecular basis of the TMUV neutralizing antibody response, and provides an important step for the development of a safe and efficient live-attenuated TMUV vaccine.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2020.585194DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7642334PMC
October 2020

Pathogenicity of a Jinding duck-origin cluster 2.1 isolate of Tembusu virus in 3-week-old Pekin ducklings.

Vet Microbiol 2020 Dec 29;251:108870. Epub 2020 Sep 29.

Key Laboratory of Animal Epidemiology of the Ministry of Agriculture, College of Veterinary Medicine, China Agricultural University, Beijing, People's Republic of China. Electronic address:

Tembusu virus (TMUV) infection most commonly affects breeder and layer ducks during laying period, and can also affect young ducks below 7 weeks of age. Here, we report our investigation of a TMUV-caused fatal disease of Jingding ducklings (Anas platyrhynchos domesticus) in Northeast China. The disease resulted in mortalities of up to 40 % in 2 to 4-week-old ducks, up to 25 % in 5 to 6-week-old ducks, and less than 10 % in 7 to 8-week-old ducks. Using a TMUV-specific reverse transcription-PCR assay, all 44 ducks collected from 10 different farms were found positive for TMUV. Phylogenetic analysis of the E nucleotide sequence revealed that five of the six TMUV strains detected from three young ducks and three laying ducks were grouped within cluster 2.1. Inoculation of the liver sample of a 40-day-old sick duck in BHK-21 cells resulted in isolation of cluster 2.1 TMUV strain H. In experimental infections performed using 3-week-old Pekin ducklings (Anas platyrhynchos domesticus) (n = 30; 10 birds/group), high mortality (60 %) was caused by strain H, in sharp contrast with a very low mortality (10 %) caused by strain Y which was isolated during outbreaks of the TMUV-related disease of young Jinding ducks in 2014 in the same region. These findings clearly demonstrated that the cluster 2.1 TMUV strain H is more pathogenic for 3-week-old ducklings as compared to the cluster 2.2 TMUV strain Y. The present study may enhance our understanding of pathogenicity of TMUV in young ducks, and will stimulate further studies on the pathogenesis of TMUV infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetmic.2020.108870DOI Listing
December 2020

Identification of a Neutralizing Monoclonal Antibody That Recognizes a Unique Epitope on Domain III of the Envelope Protein of Tembusu Virus.

Viruses 2020 06 15;12(6). Epub 2020 Jun 15.

Key Laboratory of Animal Epidemiology of the Ministry of Agriculture, College of Veterinary Medicine, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China.

Domain III of the envelope protein (EDIII) is the major target of flavivirus neutralizing antibody. To date, little is known regarding antibody-mediated neutralization of Tembusu virus (TMUV), a novel flavivirus emerging in duck in 2010. Here, a novel monoclonal antibody (MAb), designated 12F11, was prepared by immunization of mice with recombinant EDIII (rEDIII) protein. Using virus neutralization test, 12F11 in undiluted ascites neutralized the TMUV infectivity to induce the development of cytopathic effects in BHK-21 cells, indicating that 12F11 exhibits a neutralizing activity. The neutralizing activity of 12F11 was confirmed by plaque reduction neutralization test, in which 12F11 reduced significantly the number of plaques produced by TMUV in BHK-21 cells. Western blot analyses of a series of truncated rEDIII proteins showed that the epitope recognized by 12F11 includes amino acids between residues 8 and 77 of EDIII protein. Function analysis demonstrated that 12F11 neutralizes TMUV infection at virus adsorption and at a step after adsorption to a certain extent. The present study provides an important step towards elucidating antibody-mediated neutralization of TMUV.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/v12060647DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7354527PMC
June 2020

Fetal Calf Serum Exerts an Inhibitory Effect on Replication of Duck Hepatitis A Virus Genotype 1 in Duck Embryo Fibroblast Cells.

Viruses 2020 01 9;12(1). Epub 2020 Jan 9.

Key Laboratory of Animal Epidemiology of the Ministry of Agriculture, College of Veterinary Medicine, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China.

Among the causative agents of duck viral hepatitis, duck hepatitis A virus genotype 1 (DHAV-1) is the most common virus reported in most outbreaks worldwide. How to propagate DHAV-1 in cell cultures efficiently remains a problem to be explored. Here, we aimed to test the effect of serum type on DHAV-1 replication in duck embryo fibroblast (DEF) cells. Comparative studies involved virus culture and passage, observation of cytopathic effect (CPE), virus quantification, and plaque formation assay. From the results of these investigations, we conclude that use of chicken serum (CS) in maintenance medium allows DHAV-1 to establish productive, cytocidal infection in DEF cells, whereas FCS exerts inhibitory effects on DHAV-1 replication, CPE development, and plaque formation. By using a neutralization test, we found that the direct action of FCS on virions is likely to play a key role in inhibiting DHAV-1 replication in DEF cells. Mechanism analyses revealed that FCS inhibits DHAV-1 replication at virus adsorption and reduces extracellular virus yields. The present work may shed light on a new perspective for antiviral agent development, and have provided a virus-host cell system for further studies on molecular mechanism involved DHAV-1 replication and pathogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/v12010080DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7019637PMC
January 2020

Detection of Neutralizing Antibodies to Tembusu Virus: Implications for Infection and Immunity.

Front Vet Sci 2019 10;6:442. Epub 2019 Dec 10.

Key Laboratory of Animal Epidemiology and Zoonosis of Ministry of Agriculture, College of Veterinary Medicine, China Agricultural University, Beijing, China.

Neutralizing antibodies are the key mediators of protective immune response to flaviviruses after both infection and vaccination. Plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT) is considered the "gold standard" for measurement of the immunity. To date, little is known regarding neutralizing antibody response to Tembusu virus (TMUV), a novel flavivirus emerging in ducks in 2010. Here, we developed a PRNT for detection of TMUV neutralizing antibodies. Following optimization and validation, the PRNT was applied to test serum samples from different flocks of ducks. Using sera prepared in experimental conditions, the levels of 50% end point titer (neutralizing dose, ND) generated from positive sera (5,012-79,433) were significantly higher than those from mock-infected sera (10 to 126), indicating that the test can be used in the detection of TMUV-specific neutralizing antibodies. Dose-dependent efficacy test of a cell-derived 180th passage of a plaque-purified virus of the PS TMUV isolate (PS180) in combined with immunization-challenge experiments revealed that ND titer of ~1,258 is the minimum capable of providing adequate protection against challenge with virulent TMUV. In the investigation of serum samples collected from three flocks infected by TMUV and four flocks vaccinated with a licensed attenuated vaccine (the 120th passage virus), ND titers peaked at 1 week after both disease onset (7,943-125,893) and vaccination (3,612-79,432), and high levels of ND titer were detected in sera collected at 15 weeks after disease onset (5,012-63,095) and 17 weeks after vaccination (3,981-25,119). Together these findings demonstrated that spontaneous and experimental infections by TMUV and vaccination with the licensed TMUV attenuated vaccine elicit high, long-lasting neutralizing antibodies. The highest ND titer of neutralizing antibodies elicited by PS180 was determined to be 3,162, suggesting that attenuation of TMUV by more passages has a dramatic impact on the neutralizing antibody response of the virus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fvets.2019.00442DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6914806PMC
December 2019

Pathogenicity of egg-type duck-origin isolate of Tembusu virus in Pekin ducklings.

BMC Vet Res 2019 Oct 24;15(1):362. Epub 2019 Oct 24.

Key Laboratory of Animal Epidemiology of the Ministry of Agriculture, College of Veterinary Medicine, China Agricultural University, No. 2 Yuanmingyuan West Road, Haidian district, Beijing, 100193, People's Republic of China.

Background: Tembusu virus (TMUV) usually affects adult ducks, causing a severe drop of egg production. It has also been shown to be pathogenic in commercial Pekin ducklings below 7 weeks of age. Here, we report a TMUV-caused neurological disease in young egg-type ducklings and the pathogenicity of the egg-type duck-origin TMUV isolates in meat-type Pekin ducklings.

Results: The disease occurred in 25 to 40-day-old Jinding ducklings in China, and was characterized by paralysis. Gross lesions were lacking and microscopic lesions appeared chiefly in brain and spleen. Inoculation in embryonated duck eggs resulted in isolation of TMUV Y and GL. The clinical signs and microscopic lesions observed in the spontaneously infected egg-type ducks were repeated in Pekin ducklings by experimental infection. Notably, both Y and GL strains caused 100% mortality in the case of 2-day-old inoculation by intracerebral route. High mortalities (80 and 70%) also occurred following infection of the Y virus at 2 days of age by intramuscular route and at 9 days of age by intracerebral route.

Conclusions: These findings demonstrate that the egg-type duck-origin TMUVs exhibit high pathogenicity in Pekin ducklings, and that the severity of the disease in ducklings is dependent on the infection route and the age of birds at the time of infection. The availability of the highly pathogenic TMUV strains provides a useful material with which to begin investigations into the molecular basis of TMUV pathogenicity in ducks.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12917-019-2136-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6813075PMC
October 2019

Pathogenicity of a variant goose parvovirus, from short beak and dwarfism syndrome of Pekin ducks, in goose embryos and goslings.

Avian Pathol 2018 Aug 24;47(4):391-399. Epub 2018 Apr 24.

a Key Laboratory of Animal Epidemiology and Zoonosis of Ministry of Agriculture , College of Veterinary Medicine, China Agricultural University , Beijing , People's Republic of China.

The pathogenicity of a variant goose parvovirus (GPV), isolated from short beak and dwarfism syndrome of Pekin ducks (strain Cherry Valley), was investigated in embryonating goose eggs and goslings. The virus was easily grown in GPV antibody-free goose embryos and caused high mortality and severe lesions of goose embryos, indicating that the variant GPV has good adaptation and high pathogenicity to embryonated goose eggs similar to the classical GPV. Like the third egg-passage virus (strain H) of a classical GPV, the third egg-passage virus (strain JS1) of the variant GPV caused Derzsy's disease in 2-day-old goslings with high mortality. The findings suggest that the variant GPV strain, which had specifically adapted to Pekin ducks, still retained high pathogenicity for its original host. The mortality (73.3-80%) caused by the first and third egg-passages of the variant GPV was somewhat lower than that (93.3%) caused by the third passage virus of the classical GPV, reflecting the higher pathogenicity of the classical GPV for its original host. These findings are likely to reinforce the importance of surveillance for parvoviruses in different waterfowl species and stimulate further study to elucidate the impact of mutations in the GPV genome on its pathogenicity to goslings and ducks.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03079457.2018.1459040DOI Listing
August 2018

Pathogenicity of Pekin duck- and goose-origin parvoviruses in Pekin ducklings.

Vet Microbiol 2017 Oct 31;210:17-23. Epub 2017 Aug 31.

Key Laboratory of Animal Epidemiology of the Ministry of Agriculture, College of Veterinary Medicine, China Agricultural University, Beijing, China. Electronic address:

Goose parvovirus (GPV) usually affects goslings and Muscovy ducks but not Pekin ducks. Earlier works showed that a variant GPV can cause short beak and dwarfism syndrome (SBDS) in Pekin ducks. Here, we investigated the pathogenicity of a variant GPV of Pekin duck-origin (JS1) and a classical GPV of goose-origin (H) in Pekin ducklings. Following intramuscular infection at two days of age, both JS1 and H strains influenced weight gain and development of beaks and bones of wings and legs, and caused microscopic lesions of internal organs of ducks. However, the clinical signs typical of SBDS could only be replicated with the JS1 isolate. The findings suggest that both variant and classical GPVs are pathogenic for Pekin ducklings, while the former is more virulent than the latter. Using a quantitative real-time PCR assay, high levels of viral load were detected from bloods, internal organs, leg muscles, and ileac contents in JS1- and H-infected ducks from 6h to 35days postinfection (DPI). Using a GPV VP3-based ELISA, antibodies in sera of JS1- and H-infected ducks were detectable at 1 DPI and then persistently rose during the subsequent five weeks. These results suggest that both variant and classical GPVs can infect Pekin ducklings. The present work contributes to the understanding of pathogenicity of GPV to Pekin ducks and may provide clues to pathogenesis of GPV-related SBDS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetmic.2017.08.020DOI Listing
October 2017

Genetic detection and characterization of goose parvovirus: Implications for epidemiology and pathogenicity in Cherry Valley Pekin ducks.

Infect Genet Evol 2017 07 23;51:101-103. Epub 2017 Mar 23.

Key Laboratory of Animal Epidemiology and Zoonosis of Ministry of Agriculture, College of Veterinary Medicine, China Agricultural University, Beijing, China. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.meegid.2017.03.024DOI Listing
July 2017

Generation of a reliable full-length cDNA of infectiousTembusu virus using a PCR-based protocol.

Virus Res 2016 Feb 29;213:255-259. Epub 2015 Dec 29.

Key Laboratory of Animal Epidemiology and Zoonosis of Ministry of Agriculture, College of Veterinary Medicine, China Agricultural University, Beijing, China. Electronic address:

Full-length cDNA of Tembusu virus (TMUV) cloned in a plasmid has been found instable in bacterial hosts. Using a PCR-based protocol, we generated a stable full-length cDNA of TMUV. Different cDNA fragments of TMUV were amplified by reverse transcription (RT)-PCR, and cloned into plasmids. Fragmented cDNAs were amplified and assembled by fusion PCR to produce a full-length cDNA using the recombinant plasmids as templates. Subsequently, a full-length RNA was transcribed from the full-length cDNA in vitro and transfected into BHK-21 cells; infectious viral particles were rescued successfully. Following several passages in BKH-21 cells, the rescued virus was compared with the parental virus by genetic marker checks, growth curve determinations and animal experiments. These assays clearly demonstrated the genetic and biological stabilities of the rescued virus. The present work will be useful for future investigations on the molecular mechanisms involved in replication and pathogenesis of TMUV.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.virusres.2015.12.022DOI Listing
February 2016
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