J Mol Genet Med 2012 19;7:315-20. Epub 2013 Feb 19.
Viral Pseudotype Unit, Medway School of Pharmacy, University of Kent, Central Avenue, Chatham Maritime, ME4 4TB, United Kingdom.
In recent years, high pathogenicity avian influenza (HPAI) virus, H5N1, low pathogenicity avian influenza (LPAI) virus, H9N2, and both HPAI and LPAI H7 viruses have proved devastating for the affected economies reliant on poultry industry, and have posed serious public health concerns. These viruses have repeatedly caused zoonotic disease in humans, raising concerns of a potential influenza pandemic. Despite the focus on the HPAI H5N1 outbreak in 1997 some H7 strains have also shown to be occasionally adaptable to infecting humans. Therefore, applying knowledge of the H5 virus evolution and spread to the development of sensitive serological methods is likely to improve our ability to understand and respond to the emergence of other HPAI and LPAI viruses, present within the avian populations, with the potential to infect humans and other species. In the present study we describe the construction and production of lentiviral pseudotypes bearing envelope glycoproteins of LPAI and HPAI H7 avian influenza viruses, which have been responsible for several outbreaks in the past decade. The H7 pseudotypes were evaluated in pseudotype-based neutralization (pp-NT) assays in order to detect and quantify the presence of neutralizing antibodies in avian sera, which were confirmed H7 positive by inhibition of haemagglutination (HI) test. Overall, our results substantiate influenza virus pseudotype neutralization as a robust tool for influenza sero-surveillance.