Infection with avian influenza H9N2 virus is widespread in the Asian poultry industry, resulting in great economic losses due to mortality and a severe decline in egg production. To obtain more-comprehensive genomic data from circulating H9N2 viruses in Iran, we sequenced the whole genomes of early (Ck/IR/ZMT-101/98) and recent (Ck/IR/EBGV-88/10) isolates of this virus in Iran. The M and NS genes of Ck/IR/EBGV-88/10 shared a high level of similarity with a highly pathogenic H7N3 virus isolated from Pakistan. The cleavage site within the HA protein of these viruses contained two different motifs, RSSR and KSSR, which are similar to those found in low-pathogenic viruses. The deduced amino acid sequence of the new isolate contained the mutation Q226L, which is a characteristic of human-type sialic acid influenza receptor binding. An analysis of the viral amino acid sequence of the M2 protein of the recent strain revealed a V27A mutation, which is associated with amantadine resistance in avian influenza virus. The present results emphasize the need for continuous surveillance of H9N2 viruses in poultry and the human population to obtain more information about the nature and evolution of future pandemic influenza viruses.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 1, 2013
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