Canine distemper virus (CDV) infects wild and domestic Canidae worldwide. The hemag- glutinin (H) gene has the highest genetic variation in the genome of this virus. Thus, the H gene is commonly used for lineage identification and genetic analyses. In order to study the genetic characteristics and pathogenicity of CDV strains prevalent in China, 132 samples were collected from domestic dogs with suspected CDV infection, 58 samples were confirmed to be positive, and the H gene was successfully amplified from 15 samples. The epidemic strain was identified as type Asia-1 and the novel mutations, A51T, V58I, R179K and D262N, were detected in this strain. Isolated strains, BJ16B53, BJ16B14, and BJ17B8, were used for an animal infection experiment in raccoon dogs. BJ16B53 and BJ16B14 were found to cause clinical symptoms, death, and exten- sive lesions in various organs. These results are expected to facilitate the development of effective strategies to monitor and control CDV infection in China.
We explored the use of the medicinally important plant Centella asiatica for expression of hemagglutinin-neuraminidase (HN) protein of Newcastle disease virus (NDV) strain AF2240. HN protein is the principal target for subunit vaccine development against NDV. The full-length HN gene was cloned into a plant expression construct driven by the CaMV 35S promoter and C-terminal fusion of green fluorescence protein (GFP) as reporter system. The recombinant expression construct was transformed via particle bombardment into C. asiatica callus. Transformants were screened using GFP and selected on MS medium supplemented with 15 mg/l hygromycin. The ~1.8 kb HN mRNA transcript was detected on the putative transformants using RT-PCR. The presence of HN protein expression was further confirmed through dot blot analysis using anti-NDV chicken serum. Here we report, for the first time, the use of a novel medicinal plant as a new platform for HN protein expression.