Characterisation of an avian influenza A virus isolated from a human – is an intermediate host necessary for the emergence of pandemic influenza viruses?
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The partial sequencing of the internal and the neuraminidase genes of isolate 268/96 obtained from a woman with conjunctivitis showed all seven to have closest homology with avian influenza viruses. The entire nucleotide sequence of the haemagglutinin gene of 268/96 had close, 98.2%, homology with an H7N7 virus isolated from turkeys in Ireland in 1995. This appears to be the first reported case of isolation of an influenza A virus from a human being infected as a result of direct natural transmission of an avian influenza virus from birds.
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