Phylogenetic analysis of H7 haemagglutinin subtype influenza A viruses
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A 945 nucleotide region (bases 76–1020) of the HA1 part of the HA gene was obtained for 31 influenza viruses of H7 subtype isolated primarily from Europe, Asia and Australia over the last 20 years. These were analysed phylogenetically and compared with sequences of the same region from 23 H7 subtype viruses available in Genbank. The overall results showed two geographically distinct lineages of North American and Eurasian viruses with major sublineages of Australian, historical European and equine viruses. Genetically related sublineages and clades within these major groups appeared to reflect geographical and temporal parameters rather than being defined by host avian species. Viruses of high and low virulence shared the same phylogenetic branches, supporting the theory that virulent viruses are not maintained as a separate entity in waterfowl.
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