Active reassortment of H9 influenza viruses between wild birds and live-poultry markets in Korea
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Surveillance of H9 avian influenza viruses in Korean live-poultry markets from September 2004 through October 2007 was carried out to investigate active reassortment between wild migratory birds and domestic poultry in Korea. Antigenic and phylogenetic analyses showed that most of the isolates belong to the previous Korean H9N2-like lineage and differ from the southeastern Chinese strains. Interestingly, the Ck/Korea/LPM77/06 group (genotype B) and Dk/Korea/LPM248/07 group (genotype C) showed unique properties distinct from those of other Korean H9N2 strains. Although the HA genes of these two groups belong to Korean H9N2-like lineage, the PA genes closely resemble those of the Chinese Y280-like lineage. In addition, the PB2 genes of the Dk/Korea/LPM248/07 group were closely related to those isolated from migratory birds. Several other isolates also clustered within the H9N2 B genotype, an indication that there are at least two predominant H9N2 influenza genotypes in Korea. Another isolate, Dk/Korea/LPM71/06, was identified as an H9N1 subtype, the first ever discovered in Korean live-poultry markets. These findings reveal that reassortment of Korean H9 influenza viruses has occurred frequently in live-poultry markets and may have been mediated by introduction of genetic material from viruses circulating among migratory wild birds to domestic birds. Consequently, the new dominant H9N2 genotypes have become established in Korean live-poultry markets through continued reassortment.
KeywordsInfluenza Virus Avian Influenza Avian Influenza Virus Wild Bird Hemagglutination Inhibition
This work was supported by a TBP grant (KGM311912) from Korean Research Council of Fundamental Science & Technology and KRIBB. We thank Taek-Kyu Oh for technical assistance.
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