The H9N2 influenza virus is endemic in poultry. We report its occurrence in live-poultry markets, fair-trade markets and poultry farms in the Shanghai region between September 2006 and December 2010. An analysis of partial sequences of the HA, NA, PB1, PB2 and NP genes of eleven distinct H9N2 isolates revealed that all carried an RSSR motif at the cleavage site of HA, diagnostic of low pathogenicity in chickens. A phylogenetic analysis indicated that these isolates are derived from the lineage represented by Duck/HK/Y280/97, but they have evolved a range of reassortments. Their PB1 and NP sequences resembled those of H5N1 strains, indicating a hybrid origin involving both H9 and H5 strains. The HA and NA sequences present in all eleven isolates resembled those of the Duck/HK/Y280/97-like lineage. Infection by H9N2 is commonplace in Shanghai live-poultry markets, allowing the viruses to have evolved rapidly.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 1, 2012
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