Imperial College London

ProfessorWendyBarclay

Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Infectious Disease

Action Medical Research Chair Virology. Head of Department
 
 
 
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Contact

 

+44 (0)20 7594 5035w.barclay

 
 
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Location

 

416Medical SchoolSt Mary's Campus

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Summary

 

Publications

Publication Type
Year
to

114 results found

Mistry B, Long JS, Schreyer J, Staller E, Sanchez-David RY, Barclay WSet al., 2020, Elucidating the Interactions between Influenza Virus Polymerase and Host Factor ANP32A, JOURNAL OF VIROLOGY, Vol: 94, ISSN: 0022-538X

Journal article

Brown JC, Barclay WS, Galiano M, Harvey Ret al., 2019, Passage of influenza A/H3N2 viruses in human airway cells removes artefactual variants associated with neuraminidase-mediated binding., Journal of General Virology, ISSN: 0022-1317

Serological assays with modern influenza A/H3N2 viruses have become problematic due to the progressive reduction in the ability of viruses of this subtype to bind and agglutinate red blood cells (RBCs). This is due to reduced ability of the viral haemagglutinin (HA) glycoprotein to bind to the sialic acid-containing receptors presented by these cells. Additionally, as a result of reduced HA-mediated binding in cell culture, modern A/H3N2 viruses often acquire compensatory mutations during propagation that enable binding of cellular receptors through their neuraminidase (NA) surface protein. Viruses that have acquired this NA-mediated binding agglutinate RBCs through their NA, confusing the results of serological assays designed to assess HA antigenicity. Here we confirm with a large dataset that the acquisition of mutations that confer NA binding of RBCs is a culture artefact, and demonstrate that modern A/H3N2 isolates with acquired NA-binding mutations revert to a clinical-like NA sequence after a single passage in human airway epithelial (HAE) cells.

Journal article

Singanayagam A, Zambon M, Barclay W, 2019, Influenza virus with increased pH of HA activation has improved replication in cell culture but at the cost of infectivity in human airway epithelium., Journal of Virology, Vol: 98, ISSN: 0022-538X

Pandemic H1N1 (pH1N1) influenza virus emerged from swine in 2009 with adequate capability to infect and transmit between people. In subsequent years it has circulated as a seasonal virus and evolved further human-adapting mutations. Mutations in the haemagglutinin (HA) stalk that increase pH stability have been associated with human adaptation and airborne transmission of pH1N1 virus. Yet, our understanding of how pH stability impacts virus/host interactions is incomplete. Here, using recombinant viruses with point mutations that alter the pH stability of pH1N1 HA, we found distinct effects on virus phenotypes in different experimental models. Increased pH sensitivity enabled virus to uncoat in endosomes more efficiently, manifesting as increased replication rate in typical continuous cell cultures under single-cycle conditions. A more acid labile HA also conferred a small reduction in sensitivity to antiviral therapeutics that act at the pH-sensitive HA fusion step. Conversely, in primary human airway epithelium cultured at air-liquid interface, increased pH sensitivity attenuated multicycle viral replication, by compromising virus survival in the extracellular microenvironment. In a mouse model of influenza pathogenicity, there was an optimum HA activation pH and viruses with either more or less pH stable HA were less virulent. Opposing pressures inside and outside the host cell that determine pH stability may influence zoonotic potential. The distinct effects that changes in pH stability exert on viral phenotypes underscore the importance of using the most appropriate systems for assessing virus titre and fitness, which has implications for vaccine manufacture, antiviral drug development and pandemic risk assessment.ImportanceThe pH stability of the haemagglutinin surface protein varies between different influenza strains and subtypes and can affect the virus' ability to replicate and transmit. Here, we demonstrate a delicate balance the virus strikes within and

Journal article

Peacock TP, Sheppard CM, Staller E, Barclay WSet al., 2019, Host Determinants of Influenza RNA Synthesis., Annu Rev Virol

Influenza viruses are a leading cause of seasonal and pandemic respiratory illness. Influenza is a negative-sense single-stranded RNA virus that encodes its own RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) for nucleic acid synthesis. The RdRp catalyzes mRNA synthesis, as well as replication of the virus genome (viral RNA) through a complementary RNA intermediate. Virus propagation requires the generation of these RNA species in a controlled manner while competing heavily with the host cell for resources. Influenza virus appropriates host factors to enhance and regulate RdRp activity at every step of RNA synthesis. This review describes such host factors and summarizes our current understanding of the roles they play in viral synthesis of RNA. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Virology Volume 6 is September 30, 2019. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.

Journal article

Staller E, Sheppard CM, Neasham PJ, Mistry B, Peacock TP, Goldhill DH, Long JS, Barclay WSet al., 2019, ANP32 proteins are essential for influenza virus replication in human cells, Journal of Virology, Vol: 93, ISSN: 0022-538X

ANP32 proteins have been implicated in supporting influenza virus replication, but most of the work to date has focused on the ability of avian Anp32 proteins to overcome restriction of avian influenza polymerases in human cells. Using a CRISPR approach we show that human ANP32A and ANP32B are functionally redundant but essential host factors for mammalian-adapted influenza A virus (IAV) and influenza B virus (IBV) replication in human cells. When both proteins are absent from human cells, influenza polymerases are unable to replicate the viral genome, and infectious virus cannot propagate. Provision of exogenous ANP32A or –B recovers polymerase activity and virus growth. We demonstrate that this redundancy is absent in the murine Anp32 orthologues: murine Anp32A is incapable of recovering IAV polymerase activity, while murine Anp32B can. Intriguingly, IBV polymerase is able to use murine Anp32A. We show using a domain swap and point mutations that the LRR 5 region comprises an important functional domain for mammalian ANP32 proteins. Our approach has identified a pair of essential host factors for influenza virus replication and can be harnessed to inform future interventions.

Journal article

Lindsey BB, Jagne YJ, Armitage EP, Singanayagam A, Sallah HJ, Drammeh S, Senghore E, Mohammed NI, Jeffries D, Höschler K, Tregoning JS, Meijer A, Clarke E, Dong T, Barclay W, Kampmann B, de Silva TIet al., 2019, Effect of a Russian-backbone live-attenuated influenza vaccine with an updated pandemic H1N1 strain on shedding and immunogenicity among children in The Gambia: an open-label, observational, phase 4 study, Lancet Respiratory Medicine, Vol: 7, Pages: 665-676, ISSN: 2213-2600

BACKGROUND: The efficacy and effectiveness of the pandemic H1N1 (pH1N1) component in live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) is poor. The reasons for this paucity are unclear but could be due to impaired replicative fitness of pH1N1 A/California/07/2009-like (Cal09) strains. We assessed whether an updated pH1N1 strain in the Russian-backbone trivalent LAIV resulted in greater shedding and immunogenicity compared with LAIV with Cal09. METHODS: We did an open-label, prospective, observational, phase 4 study in Sukuta, a periurban area in The Gambia. We enrolled children aged 24-59 months who were clinically well. Children received one dose of the WHO prequalified Russian-backbone trivalent LAIV containing either A/17/California/2009/38 (Cal09) or A/17/New York/15/5364 (NY15) based on their year of enrolment. Primary outcomes were the percentage of children with LAIV strain shedding at day 2 and day 7, haemagglutinin inhibition seroconversion, and an increase in influenza haemagglutinin-specific IgA and T-cell responses at day 21 after LAIV. This study is nested within a randomised controlled trial investigating LAIV-microbiome interactions (NCT02972957). FINDINGS: Between Feb 8, 2017, and April 12, 2017, 118 children were enrolled and received one dose of the Cal09 LAIV from 2016-17. Between Jan 15, 2018, and March 28, 2018, a separate cohort of 135 children were enrolled and received one dose of the NY15 LAIV from 2017-18, of whom 126 children completed the study. Cal09 showed impaired pH1N1 nasopharyngeal shedding (16 of 118 children [14%, 95% CI 8·0-21·1] with shedding at day 2 after administration of LAIV) compared with H3N2 (54 of 118 [46%, 36·6-55·2]; p<0·0001) and influenza B (95 of 118 [81%, 72·2-87·2]; p<0·0001), along with suboptimal serum antibody (seroconversion in six of 118 [5%, 1·9-10·7]) and T-cell responses (CD4+ interferon γ-positive and/or CD4+ interleukin 2-positive

Journal article

Artarini A, Meyer M, Shin YJ, Huber K, Hilz N, Bracher F, Eros D, Orfi L, Keri G, Goedert S, Neuenschwander M, von Kries J, Domovich-Eisenberg Y, Dekel N, Szabadkai I, Lebendiker M, Horváth Z, Danieli T, Livnah O, Moncorgé O, Frise R, Barclay W, Meyer TF, Karlas Aet al., 2019, Regulation of influenza a virus mRNA splicing by CLK1, Antiviral Research, Vol: 168, Pages: 187-196, ISSN: 0166-3542

Influenza A virus carries eight negative single-stranded RNAs and uses spliced mRNAs to increase the number of proteins produced from them. Several genome-wide screens for essential host factors for influenza A virus replication revealed a necessity for splicing and splicing-related factors, including Cdc-like kinase 1 (CLK1). This CLK family kinase plays a role in alternative splicing regulation through phosphorylation of serine-arginine rich (SR) proteins. To examine the influence that modulation of splicing regulation has on influenza infection, we analyzed the effect of CLK1 knockdown and inhibition. CLK1 knockdown in A549 cells reduced influenza A/WSN/33 virus replication and increased the level of splicing of segment 7, encoding the viral M1 and M2 proteins. CLK1-/- mice infected with influenza A/England/195/2009 (H1N1pdm09) virus supported lower levels of virus replication than wild-type mice. Screening of newly developed CLK inhibitors revealed several compounds that have an effect on the level of splicing of influenza A gene segment M in different models and decrease influenza A/WSN/33 virus replication in A549 cells. The promising inhibitor KH-CB19, an indole-based enaminonitrile with unique binding mode for CLK1, and its even more selective analogue NIH39 showed high specificity towards CLK1 and had a similar effect on influenza mRNA splicing regulation. Taken together, our findings indicate that targeting host factors that regulate splicing of influenza mRNAs may represent a novel therapeutic approach.

Journal article

Long JS, Idoko-Akoh A, Mistry B, Goldhill D, Staller E, Schreyer J, Ross C, Goodbourn S, Shelton H, Skinner MA, Sang H, McGrew MJ, Barclay Wet al., 2019, Species specific differences in use of ANP32 proteins by influenza A virus, eLife, Vol: 8, ISSN: 2050-084X

Influenza A viruses (IAV) are subject to species barriers that prevent frequent zoonotic transmission and pandemics. One of these barriers is the poor activity of avian IAV polymerases in human cells. Differences between avian and mammalian ANP32 proteins underlie this host range barrier. Human ANP32A and ANP32B homologues both support function of human-adapted influenza polymerase but do not support efficient activity of avian IAV polymerase which requires avian ANP32A. We show here that the gene currently designated as avian ANP32B is evolutionarily distinct from mammalian ANP32B, and that chicken ANP32B does not support IAV polymerase activity even of human-adapted viruses. Consequently, IAV relies solely on chicken ANP32A to support its replication in chicken cells. Amino acids 129I and 130N, accounted for the inactivity of chicken ANP32B. Transfer of these residues to chicken ANP32A abolished support of IAV polymerase. Understanding ANP32 function will help develop antiviral strategies and aid the design of influenza virus resilient genome edited chickens.

Journal article

Lindsey BB, Singanayagam A, Tregoning JS, De Silva T, Barclay Wet al., The impact of an updated pandemic H1N1 strain on shedding and immunogenicity to Russian-backbone live attenuated influenza vaccine among children in The Gambia: an open-label, observational, phase 4 study, Lancet Respiratory Medicine, ISSN: 2213-2600

Background: Poor efficacy and effectiveness of thepandemic H1N1 (pH1N1) component inlive attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV)has been demonstrated in several studies.The reasons for this are unclear, butmay be due toimpairedreplicative fitness of pH1N1 A/California/07/2009-like (Cal09) strains. The aim of this study was to establish whether an updated pH1N1 strain in the Russian-backbone trivalent LAIV resulted in greater shedding and immunogenicitycompared to Cal09.Methods: In an open-label, prospective,observational,phase 4study, we evaluated the impact of updating the pH1N1 component in the WHO prequalified Russian-backbone trivalent LAIV from Cal09in 2016-17(n=118) to an A/Michigan/45/2015-like strain (A/17/New York/15/5364, NY15) in 2017-18(n=126),on shedding and immunogenicity in Gambian children aged 2-4 years old.The study was nested within a randomised controlled trial investigating LAIV-microbiome interactions (ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02972957). Findings: Cal09 showed impairednasopharyngeal shedding(13.6%children shedding at day 2 post-LAIV)compared to H3N2(45.8%)and influenza B(80.5%), along with sub-optimal serum antibody(5.1%seroconversion)and T-cell responses(40.5% CD4+IFN-g+ and/or CD4+IL-2+responders). Following the switch to NY15, a significant increase in pH1N1 shedding(63.5%)was seen, along with improvements in seroconversion(19.1%)and influenza-specific CD4+ T-3cell responses(65.7%). The improvement in pH1N1 seroconversion with NY15 was even greater in children seronegative at baseline(37.5% vs. 7.6%). Persistent shedding today 7was independently associated with both seroconversionand CD4+ T cell responsein multivariable logistic regression. Interpretation:The pH1N1 component switch may have overcome problems in prior LAIV formulations.LAIV effectiveness against pH1N1 shouldtherefore improve in upcoming influenza seasons. Our dataalso highlightthe importance of evaluat

Journal article

Lesch M, Luckner M, Meyer M, Weege F, Gravenstein I, Raftery M, Sieben C, Martin-Sancho L, Imai-Matsushima A, Welke R-W, Frise R, Barclay W, Schoenrich G, Herrmann A, Meyer TF, Karlas Aet al., 2019, RNAi-based small molecule repositioning reveals clinically approved urea-based kinase inhibitors as broadly active antivirals, PLoS Pathogens, Vol: 15, Pages: 1-34, ISSN: 1553-7366

Influenza viruses (IVs) tend to rapidly develop resistance to virus-directed vaccines and common antivirals targeting pathogen determinants, but novel host-directed approaches might preclude resistance development. To identify the most promising cellular targets for a host-directed approach against influenza, we performed a comparative small interfering RNA (siRNA) loss-of-function screen of IV replication in A549 cells. Analysis of four different IV strains including a highly pathogenic avian H5N1 strain, an influenza B virus (IBV) and two human influenza A viruses (IAVs) revealed 133 genes required by all four IV strains. According to gene enrichment analyses, these strain-independent host genes were particularly enriched for nucleocytoplasmic trafficking. In addition, 360 strain-specific genes were identified with distinct patterns of usage for IAVs versus IBV and human versus avian IVs. The strain-independent host genes served to define 43 experimental and otherwise clinically approved drugs, targeting reportedly fourteen of the encoded host factors. Amongst the approved drugs, the urea-based kinase inhibitors (UBKIs) regorafenib and sorafenib exhibited a superior therapeutic window of high IV antiviral activity and low cytotoxicity. Both UBKIs appeared to block a cell signaling pathway involved in IV replication after internalization, yet prior to vRNP uncoating. Interestingly, both compounds were active also against unrelated viruses including cowpox virus (CPXV), hantavirus (HTV), herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV1) and vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) and showed antiviral efficacy in human primary respiratory cells. An in vitro resistance development analysis for regorafenib failed to detect IV resistance development against this drug. Taken together, the otherwise clinically approved UBKIs regorafenib and sorafenib possess high and broad-spectrum antiviral activity along with substantial robustness against resistance development and thus constitute attractive hos

Journal article

Dunning J, Blankley S, Hoang LT, Cox M, Graham CM, James PL, Bloom CI, Chaussabel D, Banchereau J, Brett SJ, MOSAIC Investigators, Moffatt MF, O'Garra A, Openshaw PJMet al., 2019, Author Correction: Progression of whole-blood transcriptional signatures from interferon-induced to neutrophil-associated patterns in severe influenza., Nature Immunology, Vol: 20, Pages: 373-373, ISSN: 1529-2908

In the version of this article initially published, a source of funding was not included in the Acknowledgements section. That section should include the following: P.J.M.O. was supported by EU FP7 PREPARE project 602525. The error has been corrected in the HTML and PDF version of the article.

Journal article

James J, Smith N, Ross C, Iqbal M, Goodbourn S, Digard P, Barclay WS, Shelton Het al., 2019, The cellular localization of avian influenza virus PB1-F2 protein alters the magnitude of IFN2 promoter and NFκB-dependent promoter antagonism in chicken cells., J Gen Virol, Vol: 100, Pages: 414-430

The accessory protein, PB1-F2, of influenza A virus (IAV) functions in a chicken host to prolong infectious virus shedding and thus the transmission window. Here we show that this delay in virus clearance by PB1-F2 in chickens is accompanied by reduced transcript levels of type 1 interferon (IFN)-induced genes and NFκB-activated pro-inflammation cytokines. In vitro, two avian influenza isolate-derived PB1-F2 proteins, H9N2 UDL01 and H5N1 5092, exhibited the same antagonism of the IFN and pro-inflammation induction pathways seen in vivo, but to different extents. The two PB1-F2 proteins had different cellular localization in chicken cells, with H5N1 5092 being predominantly mitochondrial-associated and H9N2 UDL being cytoplasmic but not mitochondrial-localized. We hypothesized that PB1-F2 localization might influence the functionality of the protein during infection and that the protein sequence could alter cellular localization. We demonstrated that the sequence of the C-terminus of PB1-F2 determined cytoplasmic localization in chicken cells and this was linked with protein instability. Mitochondrial localization of PB1-F2 resulted in reduced antagonism of an NFκB-dependent promoter. In parallel, mitochondrial localization of PB1-F2 increased the potency of chicken IFN 2 induction antagonism. We suggest that mitochondrial localization of PB1-F2 restricts interaction with cytoplasmic-located IKKβ, reducing NFκB-responsive promoter antagonism, but enhances antagonism of the IFN2 promoter through interaction with the mitochondrial adaptor MAVS. Our study highlights the differential mechanisms by which IAV PB1-F2 protein can dampen the avian host innate signalling response.

Journal article

Barclay WS, 2019, Receptor for bat influenza virus uncovers potential risk to humans, Nature, Vol: 567, Pages: 35-36, ISSN: 0028-0836

How bat influenza viruses infect cells has been unclear. The discovery that they bind to a cell receptor that is present in many different species raises concerns about their potential risk to humans.

Journal article

Long JS, Mistry B, Haslam SM, Barclay WSet al., 2019, Host and viral determinants of influenza A virus species specificity (vol 17, pg 67, 2018), NATURE REVIEWS MICROBIOLOGY, Vol: 17, Pages: 124-124, ISSN: 1740-1526

Journal article

Long J, Idoko-Akoh A, Mistry B, Goldhill D, Staller E, Schreyer J, Ross C, Goodbourn S, Shelton H, Skinner M, Sang H, McGrew M, Barclay Wet al., 2019, Avian ANP32B does not support influenza A virus polymerase and influenza A virus relies exclusively on ANP32A in chicken cells.: Supplementary Information

Influenza A viruses (IAV) are subject to species barriers that prevent frequent zoonotic transmission and pandemics. One of these barriers is the poor activity of avian IAV polymerases in human cells. Differences between avian and mammalian ANP32 proteins underlie this host range barrier. Human ANP32A and ANP32B homologues both support function of human-adapted influenza polymerase but do not support efficient activity of avian IAV polymerase which requires avian ANP32A. We show here that avian ANP32B is evolutionarily distinct from mammalian ANP32B, and that chicken ANP32B does not support IAV polymerase activity even of human-adapted viruses. Consequently, IAV does not replicate in chicken cells that lack ANP32A. Amino acid differences in LRR5 domain accounted for the inactivity of chicken ANP32B. Transfer of these residues to chicken ANP32A abolished support of IAV polymerase. Understanding ANP32 function will help develop antiviral strategies and aid the design of influenza virus resistant genome edited chickens.

Working paper

Giotis E, Carnell G, Young E, Ghanny S, Soteropoulos P, Barclay W, Skinner M, Temperton Net al., 2019, The MHC class-II HLA-DR receptor mediates bat influenza A-like H17N10 virus entry into mammalian cells

Bats are notorious reservoirs of diverse, potentially zoonotic viruses, exemplified by the evolutionarily distinct, influenza A-like viruses H17N10 and H18N11 (BatIVs). The surface glycoproteins [haemagglutinin (H) and neuraminidase (N)] of BatIVs neither bind nor cleave sialic acid receptors, which suggests that these viruses employ cell attachment and entry mechanisms that differ from those of classical influenza A viruses (IAVs). Identifying the cellular factors that mediate entry and determine susceptibility to infection will help assess the host range of BatIVs. Here, we investigated a range of cell lines from different species for their susceptibility to infection by pseudotyped viruses bearing bat H17 and/or N10 envelope proteins. We show that a number of human haematopoietic cancer cell lines and the canine kidney MDCK II (but not MDCK I) cells are susceptible to H17-pseudotypes (H17-PV). We observed with microarrays and qRT-PCR that the dog leukocyte antigen DLA-DRA mRNA is overexpressed in late passaged parental MDCK and commercial MDCK II cells, compared to early passaged parental MDCK and MDCK I cells, respectively. The human orthologue HLA-DRA encodes the alpha subunit of the MHC class II HLA-DR antigen-binding heterodimer. Small interfering RNA- or neutralizing antibody-targeting HLA-DRA, drastically reduced the susceptibility of Raji B cells to H17-PV. Conversely, overexpression of HLA-DRA and its paralogue HLA-DRB1 on the surface of the unsusceptible HEK293T/17 cells conferred susceptibility to H17-PV. The identification of HLA-DR as an H17N10 entry mediator will contribute to a better understanding of the tropism of the virus and will elucidate its zoonotic transmission.

Working paper

Goldhill DH, Langat P, Xie H, Galiano M, Miah S, Kellam P, Zambon M, Lackenby A, Barclay Wet al., 2019, Determining the mutation bias of favipiravir in influenza using next-generation sequencing, Journal of Virology, Vol: 93, ISSN: 1098-5514

Favipiravir is a broad-spectrum antiviral drug that may be used to treat influenza. Previous research has identified that favipiravir likely acts as a mutagen but the precise mutation bias that favipiravir induces in influenza virus RNAs has not been described. Here, we use next-generation sequencing (NGS) with barcoding of individual RNA molecules to accurately and quantitatively detect favipiravir-induced mutations and to sample orders of magnitude more mutations than would be possible through Sanger sequencing. We demonstrate that favipiravir causes mutations and show that favipiravir primarily acts as a guanine analogue and secondarily as an adenine analogue resulting in the accumulation of transition mutations. We also use a standard NGS pipeline to show that the mutagenic effect of favipiravir can be measured by whole genome sequencing of virus.IMPORTANCE New antiviral drugs are needed as a first line of defence in the event of a novel influenza pandemic. Favipiravir is a broad-spectrum antiviral which is effective against influenza. The exact mechanism of how favipiravir works to inhibit influenza is still unclear. We used next-generation sequencing (NGS) to demonstrate that favipiravir causes mutations in influenza RNA. The greater depth of NGS sequence information over traditional sequencing methods allowed us to precisely determine the bias of particular mutations caused by favipiravir. NGS can also be used in a standard diagnostic pipeline to show that favipiravir is acting on the virus by revealing the mutation bias pattern typical to the drug. Our work will aid in testing whether viruses are resistant to favipiravir and may help demonstrate the effect of favipiravir on viruses in a clinical setting. This will be important if favipiravir is used during a future influenza pandemic.

Journal article

Long JS, Mistry B, Haslam SM, Barclay WSet al., 2018, Host and viral determinants of influenza A virus species specificity, NATURE REVIEWS MICROBIOLOGY, Vol: 17, Pages: 67-81, ISSN: 1740-1526

Journal article

Goldhill DH, te Velthuis AJW, Fletcher RA, Langat P, Zambon M, Lackenby A, Barclay WSet al., 2018, The mechanism of resistance to favipiravir in influenza, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol: 115, Pages: 11613-11618, ISSN: 0027-8424

Favipiravir is a broad-spectrum antiviral that has shown promise in treatment of influenza virus infections. While emergence of resistance has been observed for many antiinfluenza drugs, to date, clinical trials and laboratory studies of favipiravir have not yielded resistant viruses. Here we show evolution of resistance to favipiravir in the pandemic H1N1 influenza A virus in a laboratory setting. We found that two mutations were required for robust resistance to favipiravir. We demonstrate that a K229R mutation in motif F of the PB1 subunit of the influenza virus RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRP) confers resistance to favipiravir in vitro and in cell culture. This mutation has a cost to viral fitness, but fitness can be restored by a P653L mutation in the PA subunit of the polymerase. K229R also conferred favipiravir resistance to RNA polymerases of other influenza A virus strains, and its location within a highly conserved structural feature of the RdRP suggests that other RNA viruses might also acquire resistance through mutations in motif F. The mutations identified here could be used to screen influenza virus-infected patients treated with favipiravir for the emergence of resistance.

Journal article

Te Velthuis AJW, Long JS, Barclay WS, 2018, Assays to Measure the Activity of Influenza Virus Polymerase., Methods Mol Biol, Vol: 1836, Pages: 343-374

Influenza viruses use an RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) to transcribe and replicate their segmented negative-stranded RNA genomes. The influenza A virus RdRp consists of a heterotrimeric complex of the proteins PB1, PB2, and PA. The RdRp is associated with the incoming influenza A viral RNA (vRNA) genome bound by the viral nucleoprotein (NP), in complexes called viral ribonucleoproteins, vRNPs. During the viral replication cycle, the RdRp snatches capped primers from nascent host mRNAs to carry out primary viral transcription. Viral mRNA translation produces new copies of the RdRp subunits and NP, which are required to stabilize and encapsidate complementary copies of the genome (cRNAs), forming cRNPs. These cRNPs then use the cRNAs to make new vRNAs, which are encapsidated into new vRNPs. Secondary transcription by new vRNPs results in further viral mRNAs and an increase of the viral protein load in the cell. The activities of the RdRp (mRNA, cRNA, and vRNA synthesis) in the influenza virus replication cycle can be measured on several levels, ranging from assessment of the accumulation of RNA products in virus-infected cells, through in situ reconstitution of the RdRp from cloned cDNAs, to in vitro biochemical assays that allow the dissection of individual functions of the RdRp enzyme. Here we describe these assays and point out the advantages and drawbacks of each.

Journal article

Barclay W, Openshaw P, 2018, The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: one hundred years of progress, but where now?, Lancet Respiratory Medicine, Vol: 6, ISSN: 2213-2600

Journal article

Belser JA, Barclay W, Barr I, Fouchier RAM, Matsuyama R, Nishiura H, Peiris M, Russell CJ, Subbarao K, Zhu H, Yen H-Let al., 2018, Ferrets as Models for Influenza Virus Transmission Studies and Pandemic Risk Assessments, EMERGING INFECTIOUS DISEASES, Vol: 24, Pages: 965-971, ISSN: 1080-6040

Journal article

Dunning J, Blankley S, Hoang LT, Cox M, Graham CM, James PL, Bloom CI, Chaussabel D, Banchereau J, Brett SJ, Moffatt MF, OGarra A, Openshaw PJMet al., 2018, Progression of whole-blood transcriptional signatures from interferon-induced to neutrophil-associated patterns in severe influenza, Nature Immunology, Vol: 19, Pages: 625-635, ISSN: 1529-2916

Transcriptional profiles and host-response biomarkers are used increasingly to investigate the severity, subtype and pathogenesis of disease. We now describe whole-blood mRNA signatures and concentrations of local and systemic immunological mediators in 131 adults hospitalized with influenza, from whom extensive clinical and investigational data were obtained by MOSAIC investigators. Signatures reflective of interferon-related antiviral pathways were common up to day 4 of symptoms in patients who did not require mechanical ventilator support; in those who needed mechanical ventilation, an inflammatory, activated-neutrophil and cell-stress or death (‘bacterial’) pattern was seen, even early in disease. Identifiable bacterial co-infection was not necessary for this ‘bacterial’ signature but was able to enhance its development while attenuating the early ‘viral’ signature. Our findings emphasize the importance of timing and severity in the interpretation of host responses to acute viral infection and identify specific patterns of immune-system activation that might enable the development of novel diagnostic and therapeutic tools for severe influenza.

Journal article

Groves HT, McDonald JU, Langat P, Kinnear E, Kellam P, McCauley J, Ellis J, Thompson C, Elderfield R, Parker L, Barclay W, Tregoning JSet al., 2018, Mouse Models of Influenza Infection with Circulating Strains to Test Seasonal Vaccine Efficacy, Frontiers in Immunology, Vol: 9, ISSN: 1664-3224

Influenza virus infection is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. The surface antigens of influenza virus change over time blunting both naturally acquired and vaccine induced adaptive immune protection. Viral antigenic drift is a major contributing factor to both the spread and disease burden of influenza. The aim of this study was to develop better infection models using clinically relevant, influenza strains to test vaccine induced protection. CB6F1 mice were infected with a range of influenza viruses and disease, inflammation, cell influx, and viral load were characterized after infection. Infection with circulating H1N1 and representative influenza B viruses induced a dose-dependent disease response; however, a recent seasonal H3N2 virus did not cause any disease in mice, even at high titers. Viral infection led to recoverable virus, detectable both by plaque assay and RNA quantification after infection, and increased upper airway inflammation on day 7 after infection comprised largely of CD8 T cells. Having established seasonal infection models, mice were immunized with seasonal inactivated vaccine and responses were compared to matched and mismatched challenge strains. While the H1N1 subtype strain recommended for vaccine use has remained constant in the seven seasons between 2010 and 2016, the circulating strain of H1N1 influenza (2009 pandemic subtype) has drifted both genetically and antigenically since 2009. To investigate the effect of this observed drift on vaccine induced protection, mice were immunized with antigens from A/California/7/2009 (H1N1) and challenged with H1N1 subtype viruses recovered from 2009, 2010, or 2015. Vaccination with A/California/7/2009 antigens protected against infection with either the 2009 or 2010 strains, but was less effective against the 2015 strain. This observed reduction in protection suggests that mouse models of influenza virus vaccination and infection can be used as an additional tool to predic

Journal article

Li H, Bradley KC, Long JS, Frise R, Ashcroft JW, Hartgroves LC, Shelton H, Makris S, Johansson C, Cao B, Barclay WSet al., 2018, Internal genes of a highly pathogenic H5N1 influenza virus determine high viral replication in myeloid cells and severe outcome of infection in mice., PLoS Pathogens, Vol: 14, ISSN: 1553-7366

The highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 influenza virus has been a public health concern for more than a decade because of its frequent zoonoses and the high case fatality rate associated with human infections. Severe disease following H5N1 influenza infection is often associated with dysregulated host innate immune response also known as cytokine storm but the virological and cellular basis of these responses has not been clearly described. We rescued a series of 6:2 reassortant viruses that combined a PR8 HA/NA pairing with the internal gene segments from human adapted H1N1, H3N2, or avian H5N1 viruses and found that mice infected with the virus with H5N1 internal genes suffered severe weight loss associated with increased lung cytokines but not high viral load. This phenotype did not map to the NS gene segment, and NS1 protein of H5N1 virus functioned as a type I IFN antagonist as efficient as NS1 of H1N1 or H3N2 viruses. Instead we discovered that the internal genes of H5N1 virus supported a much higher level of replication of viral RNAs in myeloid cells in vitro but not in epithelial cells and that this was associated with high induction of type I IFN in myeloid cells. We also found that in vivo during H5N1 recombinant virus infection cells of haematopoetic origin were infected and produced type I IFN and proinflammatory cytokines. Taken together our data infer that human and avian influenza viruses are differently controlled by host factors in alternative cell types; internal gene segments of avian H5N1 virus uniquely drove high viral replication in myeloid cells, which triggered an excessive cytokine production, resulting in severe immunopathology.

Journal article

Singanayagam A, Zambon M, Lalvani A, Barclay Wet al., 2017, Can defective interfering RNAs affect the live attenuated influenza vaccine? Reply, Lancet Infectious Diseases, Vol: 17, Pages: 1235-1236, ISSN: 1473-3099

Journal article

Singanayagam A, Zambon M, Lalvani A, Barclay Wet al., 2017, Urgent challenges in implementing live attenuated influenza vaccine., Lancet Infectious Diseases, Vol: 18, Pages: e25-e32, ISSN: 1473-3099

Conflicting reports have emerged about the effectiveness of the live attenuated influenza vaccine. The live attenuated influenza vaccine appears to protect particularly poorly against currently circulating H1N1 viruses that are derived from the 2009 pandemic H1N1 viruses. During the 2015-16 influenza season, when pandemic H1N1 was the predominant virus, studies from the USA reported a complete lack of effectiveness of the live vaccine in children. This finding led to a crucial decision in the USA to recommend that the live vaccine not be used in 2016-17 and to switch to the inactivated influenza vaccine. Other countries, including the UK, Canada, and Finland, however, have continued to recommend the use of the live vaccine. This policy divergence and uncertainty has far reaching implications for the entire global community, given the importance of the production capabilities of the live attenuated influenza vaccine for pandemic preparedness. In this Personal View, we discuss possible explanations for the observed reduced effectiveness of the live attenuated influenza vaccine and highlight the underpinning scientific questions. Further research to understand the reasons for these observations is essential to enable informed public health policy and commercial decisions about vaccine production and development in coming years.

Journal article

Peacock TP, Benton DJ, James J, Sadeyen J-R, Chang P, Sealy JE, Bryant JE, Martin SR, Shelton H, Barclay WS, Iqbal Met al., 2017, Immune Escape Variants of H9N2 Influenza Viruses Containing Deletions at the Hemagglutinin Receptor Binding Site Retain Fitness In Vivo and Display Enhanced Zoonotic Characteristics, Journal of Virology, Vol: 91, ISSN: 1098-5514

H9N2 avian influenza viruses are enzootic in poultry across Asia and North Africa, where they pose a threat to human health as both zoonotic agents and potential pandemic candidates. Poultry vaccination against H9N2 viruses has been employed in many regions; however, vaccine effectiveness is frequently compromised due to antigenic drift arising from amino acid substitutions in the major influenza virus antigen hemagglutinin (HA). Using selection with HA-specific monoclonal antibodies, we previously identified H9N2 antibody escape mutants that contained deletions of amino acids in the 220 loop of the HA receptor binding sites (RBSs). Here we analyzed the impact of these deletions on virus zoonotic infection characteristics and fitness. We demonstrated that mutant viruses with RBS deletions are able to escape polyclonal antiserum binding and are able to infect and be transmitted between chickens. We showed that the deletion mutants have increased binding to human-like receptors and greater replication in primary human airway cells; however, the mutant HAs also displayed reduced pH and thermal stability. In summary, we infer that variant influenza viruses with deletions in the 220 loop could arise in the field due to immune selection pressure; however, due to reduced HA stability, we conclude that these viruses are unlikely to be transmitted from human to human by the airborne route, a prerequisite for pandemic emergence. Our findings underscore the complex interplay between antigenic drift and viral fitness for avian influenza viruses as well as the challenges of predicting which viral variants may pose the greatest threats for zoonotic and pandemic emergence.

Journal article

Barclay WS, 2017, Influenza: a world of discoveries, outbreaks and controversy, JOURNAL OF GENERAL VIROLOGY, Vol: 98, Pages: 892-894, ISSN: 0022-1317

Journal article

Cole SL, Dunning J, Kok WL, Benam KH, Benlahrech A, Repapi E, Martinez FO, Drumright L, Powell TJ, Bennett M, Elderfield R, Thomas C, MOSAIC investigators, Dong T, McCauley J, Liew FY, Taylor S, Zambon M, Barclay W, Cerundolo V, Openshaw PJ, McMichael AJ, Ho LPet al., 2017, M1-like monocytes are a major immunological determinant of severity in previously healthy adults with life-threatening influenza., JCI Insight, Vol: 2, ISSN: 2379-3708

In each influenza season, a distinct group of young, otherwise healthy individuals with no risk factors succumbs to life-threatening infection. To better understand the cause for this, we analyzed a broad range of immune responses in blood from a unique cohort of patients, comprising previously healthy individuals hospitalized with and without respiratory failure during one influenza season, and infected with one specific influenza A strain. This analysis was compared with similarly hospitalized influenza patients with known risk factors (total of n = 60 patients recruited). We found a sustained increase in a specific subset of proinflammatory monocytes, with high TNF-α expression and an M1-like phenotype (independent of viral titers), in these previously healthy patients with severe disease. The relationship between M1-like monocytes and immunopathology was strengthened using murine models of influenza, in which severe infection generated using different models (including the high-pathogenicity H5N1 strain) was also accompanied by high levels of circulating M1-like monocytes. Additionally, a raised M1/M2 macrophage ratio in the lungs was observed. These studies identify a specific subtype of monocytes as a modifiable immunological determinant of disease severity in this subgroup of severely ill, previously healthy patients, offering potential novel therapeutic avenues.

Journal article

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