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Chicken interferon alpha pretreatment reduces virus replication of pandemic H1N1 and H5N9 avian influenza viruses in lung cell cultures from different avian species

Author(s): Jiang Haijun | Yang Hanchun | Kapczynski Darrell

Journal: Virology Journal
ISSN 1743-422X

Volume: 8;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 447;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: avian influenza | interferon | chicken | duck | turkey

Abstract Background Type I interferons, including interferon alpha (IFN-α), represent one of the first lines of innate immune defense against influenza virus infection. Following natural infection of chickens with avian influenza virus (AIV), transcription of IFN-α is quickly up regulated along with multiple other immune-related genes. Chicken IFN-α up regulates a number of important anti-viral response genes and has been demonstrated to be an important cytokine to establish anti-viral immunity. However, the mechanisms by which interferon inhibit virus replication in avian species remains unknown as does the biological activity of chicken interferon in other avian species. Methods In these studies, we assessed the protective potential of exogenous chicken IFN-α applied to chicken, duck, and turkey primary lung cell cultures prior to infection with the pandemic H1N1 virus (A/turkey/Virginia/SEP-4/2009) and an established avian H5N9 virus (A/turkey/Wisconsin/1968). Growth kinetics and induction of select immune response genes, including IFN-α and myxovirus-resistance gene I (Mx), as well as proinflammatory cytokines (IL-1β and IL-6), were measured in response to chicken IFN-α and viral infection over time. Results Results demonstrate that pretreatment with chicken IFN-α before AIV infection significantly reduced virus replication in both chicken-and turkey-origin lung cells and to a lesser degree the duck-origin cells. Virus growth was reduced by approximately 200-fold in chicken and turkey cells and 30-fold in duck cells after 48 hours of incubation. Interferon treatment also significantly decreased the interferon and proinflammatory response during viral infection. In general, infection with the H1N1 virus resulted in an attenuated interferon and proinflammatory response in these cell lines, compared to the H5N9 virus. Conclusions Taken together, these studies show that chicken IFN-α reduces virus replication, lower host innate immune response following infection, and is biologically active in other avian species.
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