Aquatic birds are known to be a reservoir for the most common influenza A viruses (IAVs). In the annual surveillance program, we collected the feces of migratory birds for the detection of IAVs in South Korea in November 2016. A novel reassorted H3N3 avian influenza virus (AIV) containing genes from viruses of wild and domestic birds was identified and named A/aquatic bird/South Korea/sw006/2016(H3N3). The polymerase basic 2 (PB2) and non-structural (NS) genes of this isolate are most closely related to those of wild-bird-origin AIV, while the polymerase basic 1 (PB1), polymerase acidic (PA), hemagglutinin (HA), nucleoprotein (NP), neuraminidase (NA), and matrix (M) genes are most closely related to those of domestic-bird-origin AIV. A/aquatic bird/South Korea/sw006/2016 contains PA, NP, M, and NS genes were most closely related to those of AIV subtype H4 and PB2, PB1, and HA genes that are most closely related to those of AIV subtype H3N8, while the NA gene was most closely related to those of subtype H10, which was recently detected in humans in China. These results suggest that novel reassortment of AIV strains occurred due to interaction between wild and domestic birds. Hence, we emphasize the need for continued surveillance of avian influenza virus in bird populations.
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This work was supported by grants from the KRIBB Initiative program, the BioNano Health-Guard Research Center funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning (MSIP) of Korea as Global Frontier Project (Grant No. H-GUARD 2013M3A6B2078954) and the Korea Health Technology R&D Project through the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI), funded by the Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea (grant number: HD16A1487).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
The study did not include any experiments with human or animal subjects.
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