A newly emerged H7N9 virus has caused 132 human infections with 37 deaths in China since 18 February 2013. Control measures in H7N9 virus-positive live poultry markets have reduced the number of infections; however, the character of the virus, including its pandemic potential, remains largely unknown. We systematically analyzed H7N9 viruses isolated from birds and humans. The viruses were genetically closely related and bound to human airway receptors; some also maintained the ability to bind to avian airway receptors. The viruses isolated from birds were nonpathogenic in chickens, ducks, and mice; however, the viruses isolated from humans caused up to 30% body weight loss in mice. Most importantly, one virus isolated from humans was highly transmissible in ferrets by respiratory droplet. Our findings indicate nothing to reduce the concern that these viruses can transmit between humans.
Certain low pathogenic avian influenza viruses can mutate to highly pathogenic viruses when they circulate in domestic poultry, at which point they can cause devastating poultry diseases and severe economic damage. The H7N9 influenza viruses that emerged in 2013 in China had caused severe human infections and deaths. However, these viruses were nonlethal in poultry. It is unknown whether the H7N9 viruses can acquire additional mutations during their circulation in nature and become lethal to poultry and more dangerous for humans. Here, we evaluated the evolution of H7N9 viruses isolated from avian species between 2013 and 2017 in China and found 23 different genotypes, 7 of which were detected only in ducks and were genetically distinct from the other 16 genotypes that evolved from the 2013 H7N9 viruses. Importantly, some H7N9 viruses obtained an insertion of four amino acids in their hemagglutinin (HA) cleavage site and were lethal in chickens. The index strain was not lethal in mice or ferrets, but readily obtained the 627K or 701N mutation in its PB2 segment upon replication in ferrets, causing it to become highly lethal in mice and ferrets and to be transmitted efficiently in ferrets by respiratory droplet. H7N9 viruses bearing the HA insertion and PB2 627K mutation have been detected in humans in China. Our study indicates that the new H7N9 mutants are lethal to chickens and pose an increased threat to human health, and thus highlights the need to control and eradicate the H7N9 viruses to prevent a possible pandemic.
H9N2 subtype influenza viruses have been detected in different species of wild birds and domestic poultry in many countries for several decades. Because these viruses are of low pathogenicity in poultry, their eradication is not a priority for animal disease control in many countries, which has allowed them to continue to evolve and spread. Here, we characterized the genetic variation, receptor-binding specificity, replication capability, and transmission in mammals of a series of H9N2 influenza viruses that were detected in live poultry markets in southern China between 2009 and 2013. Thirty-five viruses represented 17 genotypes on the basis of genomic diversity, and one specific “internal-gene-combination” predominated among the H9N2 viruses. This gene combination was also present in the H7N9 and H10N8 viruses that have infected humans in China. All of the 35 viruses preferentially bound to the human-like receptor, although two also retained the ability to bind to the avian-like receptor. Six of nine viruses tested were transmissible in ferrets by respiratory droplet; two were highly transmissible. Some H9N2 viruses readily acquired the 627K or 701N mutation in their PB2 gene upon infection of ferrets, further enhancing their virulence and transmission in mammals. Our study indicates that the widespread dissemination of H9N2 viruses poses a threat to human health not only because of the potential of these viruses to cause an influenza pandemic, but also because they can function as “vehicles” to deliver different subtypes of influenza viruses from avian species to humans.
Pigs are important intermediate hosts for generating novel influenza viruses. The Eurasian avian-like H1N1 (EAH1N1) swine influenza viruses (SIVs) have circulated in pigs since 1979, and human cases associated with EAH1N1 SIVs have been reported in several countries. However, the biologic properties of EAH1N1 SIVs are largely unknown. Here, we performed extensive influenza surveillance in pigs in China and isolated 228 influenza viruses from 36,417 pigs. We found that 139 of the 228 strains from pigs in 10 provinces in China belong to the EAH1N1 lineage. These viruses formed five genotypes, with two distinct antigenic groups, represented by A/swine/Guangxi/18/2011 and A/swine/Guangdong/104/2013, both of which are antigenically and genetically distinct from the current human H1N1 viruses. Importantly, the EAH1N1 SIVs preferentially bound to human-type receptors, and 9 of the 10 tested viruses transmitted in ferrets by respiratory droplet. We found that 3.6% of children (≤10 y old), 0% of adults, and 13.4% of elderly adults (≥60 y old) had neutralization antibodies (titers ≥40 in children and ≥80 in adults) against the EAH1N1 A/swine/Guangxi/18/2011 virus, but none of them had such neutralization antibodies against the EAH1N1 A/swine/Guangdong/104/2013 virus. Our study shows the potential of EAH1N1 SIVs to transmit efficiently in humans and suggests that immediate action is needed to prevent the efficient transmission of EAH1N1 SIVs to humans.
Four covalent triazine-based frameworks (PCTF-1 to PCTF-4) with triphenylamine as core were synthesized by a consolidated ionothermal reaction between aromatic nitriles under the catalysis of ZnCl2. The Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) specific surface area values of PCTF-1 (853 m 2 g -1 ), PCTF-2 (811 m 2 g -1 ) and PCTF-3 (391 m 2 g -1 ) are against with the increasing length of branched arm, indicating using monomers with longer branches are able to pack more efficiently, resulting in higher density materials with a lower surface area. PCTF-4, compared with PCTF-2, just changed the middle benzene of the branches 10 to benzothiadiazole, however, N2 adsorption isotherms showed its BET specific surface area value (1404 m 2 g -1 ) is the highest among the PCTFs, almost two times than that of PCTF-2. The nitrogen-rich characteristics of C3N3 triazine rings feature the frameworks strong affinity for CO2 and thereby high CO2 adsorption capacity. Especially for PCTF-4 with the benzothiadiazole, it exhibited the highest CO2 uptake (20.5 wt%) at 273 K and 1 bar, this value is one of the highest reported for covalent triazinebased frameworks. The results demonstrate that the introduction of strong polar groups (benzothiadiazole) into a polymer 15 skeleton is an efficient strategy to produce CO2-philic microporous organic polymers with enhanced binding affinity with CO2 molecules. In addition, such PCTFs with high physical-chemical stability and comparable BET surface areas exhibited good ideal CO2/N2 selectivities (14-56) and CO2/CH4 selectivities (11-20) at 273 K, showing these materials are potential candidates for gas storage and separation. However, in the presence of water vapor, the CO2 uptake of all polymers decreased probably due to the formation hydrogen bonding with water, suggesting materials that perform well in dry conditions may deteriorate under 20 practical conditions. a Calculated BET surface area over the pressure range 0.01-0.1 P/P0. b Micropore volume calculated from the N2 adsorption isotherm at P/P0 =0.1 bar. c Total pore volume at P/P0 =0.99 bar. d Dominant pore size calculated by nonlocal density functional theory (NL-DFT).
Two 1D-2D asymmetric benzodithiophenes (BDTs) as donor building blocks are designed and synthesized, combining the advantages of both 1D and 2D symmetric BDTs. The photovoltaic properties of the asymmetric BDT-based polymers are improved greatly in comparison with corresponding symmetric BDT-based polymers. This work provides a new approach to design prospective organic optoelectronic materials employing the symmetry-breaking strategy.
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