Japanese Journal of Veterinary Research;Volume 48, Number 4


Antigenic Variation Among Equine H 3 N 8 Influenza Virus Hemagglutinins

OZAKI, Hiroichi;SHIMIZU-NEI, Ayako;SUGITA, Shigeo;SUGIURA, Takeo;IMAGAWA, Hiroshi;KIDA, Hiroshi

Permalink : http://hdl.handle.net/2115/2858
JaLCDOI : 10.14943/jjvr.48.4.177


To provide information on the antigenic variation of the hemagglutinins (HA) among equine H 3 influenza viruses, 26 strains isolated from horses in different areas in the world during the 1963-1996 period were analyzed using a panel of monoclonal antibodies recognizing at least 7 distinct epitopes on the H 3 HA molecule of the prototype strain A/equine/Miami/1/63 (H 3 N 8). The reactivity patterns of the virus strains with the panel indicate that antigenic drift of the HA has occurred with the year of isolation, but less extensively than that of human H 3 N 2 influenza virus isolates, and different antigenic variants co-circulate. To assess immunogenicity of the viruses, antisera from mice vaccinated with each of the 7 representative inactivated viruses were examined by neutralization and hemagglutination-inhibition tests. These results emphasize the importance of monitoring the antigenic drift in equine influenza virus strains and to introduce current isolates into vaccine. On the basis of the present results, equine influenza vaccine strain A/equine/Tokyo/2/71 (H 3 N 8) was replaced with A/equine/La Plata/1/93 (H 3 N 8) in 1996 in Japan. The present results of the antigenic analysis of the 26 strains supported the results of a phylogenetic analysis, that viruses belonging to each of the Eurasian and American equine influenza lineages have independently evolved. However, the current vaccine in Japan consists of two American H 3 N 8 strains ; A/equine/Kentucky/1/81 and A/equine/La Plata/1/93. It is also therefore recommended that a representative Eurasian strain should be included as a replacement of A/equine/Kentucky/1/81.