Surveillance and characterization of avian influenza viruses from migratory water birds in eastern Hokkaido, the northern part of Japan, 2009–2010
Avian influenza virus (AIV) surveillance was conducted around a small pond in Obihiro, eastern Hokkaido, Japan. Eleven AIVs were isolated from a total of 1,269 fecal samples of migratory wild birds collected during 2009 and 2010. The sample number covered approximately 60 % of the total number of birds observed during sampling periods. The subtypes of the isolates included H3N8 (4 isolates), H5N2 (3), H6N2 (2), H6N1 (1), and H11N2 (1). The H3N8 subtype was most prevalent as in the previous studies performed in Hokkaido. The three H5N2 isolates genetically characterized as low pathogenic AIV were closely related to the strains previously isolated from aquatic wild birds in Japan and also to the Korean strains isolated from aquatic birds in recent years. In Korea, H5N2 subtype virus has often been isolated from poultry and wild birds, as well as reassortant viruses generated from duck H5N2 viruses and chicken H9N2 virus, and avian-swine-like reassortant H5N2 viruses. Considering the previous chicken outbreaks caused by highly pathogenic H5N2 viruses, which affected many countries, it should be an important priority to continue, monitoring the evolution of H5N2 viruses circulating in the region.
KeywordsAvian influenza virus Surveillance H5N2 H3N8 H6N2 H6N1 H11N2