An avian influenza virus (AIV) strain belonging to the H4 subtype and provisionally designated as A/duck/China/J1/2012(H4N6) was isolated from diseased ducks with respiratory disease at a commercial poultry farm in Shandong, China, in 2012. The genomic coding sequences of all eight segments of this J1 isolate were determined and used for subsequent analysis. Phylogenetic analysis of all eight segments showed that this duck H4N6 virus was of Eurasian lineage and not American lineage. The results show that the virus probably emerged because of a reassortment event involving other avian H4N6 and H6N1 viruses. Interestingly, this H4N6 virus had all the conserved features common to low-pathogenic AIVs, including the HA cleavage sequence, receptor-binding sequences for the 2,3-linked sialic acid receptor in avian species, and the PB2 627E motif. These results suggest that the duck H4N6 isolate could not cross the species barrier to infect and replicate in mammals, including humans. In addition, screening of the duck serum samples showed that only 0.57 % (2/352) of the individuals had weak but measurable hemagglutination inhibition (HI) antibody titers. The low antibody prevalence data were also supported by the failure to detect H4N6 virus (0/56) in clinical nasal swabs of the ducks. These data indicate an alternate reservoir for the H4N6 virus.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 1, 2015
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