, Volume 156, Issue 8, pp 1379-1385
Date: 20 Apr 2011

Antigenic and genetic analysis of H3N8 influenza viruses isolated from horses in Japan and Mongolia, and imported from Canada and Belgium during 2007-2010

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A/equine/Kanazawa/1/2007 (H3N8), A/equine/Hokkaido/I828/2008 (H3N8) and A/equine/Mongolia/1/2008 (H3N8) were isolated from infected horses. A/equine/Yokohama/aq19/2009 (H3N8) and A/equine/Yokohama/aq13/2010 (H3N8) were isolated from horses imported from Canada and Belgium examined at the Animal Quarantine Service in Yokohama, Japan. In the present study, these five isolates were genetically and antigenically analyzed. Phylogenetic analysis of hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) genes showed that three isolates from horses in Japan and imported from Canada belonged to the same branch, clade 1 of the Florida sublineage, while the isolates from horses in Mongolia and imported from Belgium belonged to another branch, clade 2 of the Florida sublineage. Reactivity patterns of a panel of monoclonal antibodies to the HA of A/equine/Kanazawa/1/2007 (H3N8) with the five isolates indicate that the HAs of these viruses were antigenically similar to each other and to the reference strains A/equine/La Plata/1/1993 (H3N8) and A/equine/Avesta/1/1993 (H3N8). The present findings indicate that extensive antigenic variation has not accumulated among H3N8 influenza viruses in horses.