Journal of virological methods

Evaluation of different inactivation methods for high and low pathogenic avian influenza viruses in egg-fluids for antigen preparation.

PMID 25997377


In view of the emerging avian influenza (AI) viruses, it is important to study the susceptibility of AI viruses to inactivating agents for preparation of antigens and inactivated vaccines. The available information on susceptibility of both the high and low pathogenic AI viruses to different inactivating agents is inadequate and ambiguous. It has been shown that different subtypes of influenza viruses require different physical and chemical conditions for inactivation of infectivity. The present study was undertaken to evaluate the use of beta-propiolactone (BPL), formalin and ether for inactivation and its impact on antigenicity of AI viruses. A total of nine high and low pathogenic AI viruses belonging to four influenza A subtypes were included in the study. The H5N1 viruses were from the clades 2.2, and 2.3.4. The H9N2 virus included in the study was of the G1 genotype, while the H11N1 and H4N6 viruses were from the Eurasian lineage. The viruses were treated with BPL, formalin and with ether. The confirmation of virus inactivation was performed by two serial passages of inactivated viruses in embryonated chicken eggs. The infectivity of all tested AI viruses was eliminated using 0.1% BPL and 0.1% formalin. Ether eliminated infectivity of all tested low pathogenic AI viruses; however, ether with 0.2% or 0.5% Tween-20 was required for inactivation of the highly pathogenic AI H5N1 viruses. Treatment with BPL, ether and formalin retained virus hemagglutination (HA) titers. Interestingly ether treatment resulted in significant rise in HA titers (P<0.05) of all tested AI viruses. This data demonstrated the utility of BPL, formalin and ether for the inactivation of infectivity of AI viruses used in the study for the preparation of inactivated virus antigens for research and diagnosis of AI.