An infectious bat-derived chimeric influenza virus harbouring the entry machinery of an influenza A virus

Mindaugas Juozapaitis, Étori Aguiar Moreira, Ignacio Mena, Sebastian Giese, David Riegger, Anne Pohlmann, Dirk Höper, Gert Zimmer, Martin Beer, Adolfo García-Sastre, Martin Schwemmle

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72 Scopus citations

Abstract

In 2012, the complete genomic sequence of a new and potentially harmful influenza A-like virus from bats (H17N10) was identified. However, infectious influenza virus was neither isolated from infected bats nor reconstituted, impeding further characterization of this virus. Here we show the generation of an infectious chimeric virus containing six out of the eight bat virus genes, with the remaining two genes encoding the haemagglutinin and neuraminidase proteins of a prototypic influenza A virus. This engineered virus replicates well in a broad range of mammalian cell cultures, human primary airway epithelial cells and mice, but poorly in avian cells and chicken embryos without further adaptation. Importantly, the bat chimeric virus is unable to reassort with other influenza A viruses. Although our data do not exclude the possibility of zoonotic transmission of bat influenza viruses into the human population, they indicate that multiple barriers exist that makes this an unlikely event.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4448
JournalNature Communications
Volume5
DOIs
StatePublished - 23 Jul 2014

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