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Identification of Amino Acids within Nonstructural Proteins 10 and 14 of the Avian Coronavirus Infectious Bronchitis Virus That Result in Attenuation In Vivo and In Ovo

Keep, Sarah; Stevenson-Leggett, Phoebe; Dowgier, Giulia; Everest, Holly; Freimanis, Graham; Oade, Michael; Hammond, John A; ... Bickerton, Erica; + view all (2022) Identification of Amino Acids within Nonstructural Proteins 10 and 14 of the Avian Coronavirus Infectious Bronchitis Virus That Result in Attenuation In Vivo and In Ovo. Journal of Virology , 96 (6) , Article e02059-21. 10.1128/jvi.02059-21. Green open access

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Abstract

The Gammacoronavirus infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) is a highly contagious global pathogen prevalent in all types of poultry flocks. IBV is responsible for economic losses and welfare issues in domestic poultry, resulting in a significant risk to food security. IBV vaccines are currently generated by serial passage of virulent IBV field isolates through embryonated hens' eggs. The different patterns of genomic variation accumulated during this process means that the exact mechanism of attenuation is unknown and presents a risk of reversion to virulence. Additionally, the passaging process adapts the virus to replicate in chicken embryos, increasing embryo lethality. Vaccines produced in this manner are therefore unsuitable for in ovo application. We have developed a reverse genetics system, based on the pathogenic IBV strain M41, to identify genes which can be targeted for rational attenuation. During the development of this reverse genetics system, we identified four amino acids, located in nonstructural proteins (nsps) 10, 14, 15, and 16, which resulted in attenuation both in vivo and in ovo. Further investigation highlighted a role of amino acid changes, Pro85Leu in nsp 10 and Val393Leu in nsp 14, in the attenuated in vivo phenotype observed. This study provides evidence that mutations in nsps offer a promising mechanism for the development of rationally attenuated live vaccines against IBV, which have the potential for in ovo application. IMPORTANCE The Gammacoronavirus infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) is the etiological agent of infectious bronchitis, an acute, highly contagious, economically important disease of poultry. Vaccination is achieved using a mixture of live attenuated vaccines for young chicks and inactivated vaccines as boosters for laying hens. Live attenuated vaccines are generated through serial passage in embryonated hens' eggs, an empirical process which achieves attenuation but retains immunogenicity. However, these vaccines have a risk of reversion to virulence, and they are lethal to the embryo. In this study, we identified amino acids in the replicase gene which attenuated IBV strain M41, both in vivo and in ovo. Stability assays indicate that the attenuating amino acids are stable and unlikely to revert. The data in this study provide evidence that specific modifications in the replicase gene offer a promising direction for IBV live attenuated vaccine development, with the potential for in ovo application.

Type: Article
Title: Identification of Amino Acids within Nonstructural Proteins 10 and 14 of the Avian Coronavirus Infectious Bronchitis Virus That Result in Attenuation In Vivo and In Ovo
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1128/jvi.02059-21
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1128/jvi.02059-21
Language: English
Additional information: © 2022 Keep et al. This is an openaccess article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.
Keywords: Science & Technology, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Virology, coronavirus, infectious bronchitis virus, avian, vaccine, replicase, reverse genetics, avian viruses, reverse genetic analysis, veterinary vaccine development, TRACHEAL ORGAN-CULTURES, REVERSE GENETICS SYSTEM, S1 GENE, CRYSTAL-STRUCTURE, SARS-CORONAVIRUS, HEPATITIS-VIRUS, MESSENGER-RNA, SPIKE PROTEIN, QX-LIKE, LIVE
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Infection and Immunity
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10155305
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