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Open Access Phylogenetic analysis of influenza A viruses of H9 haemagglutinin subtype

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A 380 nucleotide region (bases 613 to 992) of the HA1 part of the haemagglutinin (H) gene was obtained for 35 influenza viruses of H9 subtype isolated from around the world over the past 33 years. These were analyzed phylogenetically and compared with sequences from 19 H9 subtype viruses available in the Genbank database. These viruses do not show such clear geographical lineages as other subtypes (i.e. H5 or H7) and there is a high degree of variation at the cleavage site of the haemagglutinin. Genetically distinct lineages of H9 viruses have circulated contemporaneously in different locations. Thus, it is likely that the numerous infections of poultry and other birds with H9 subtype influenza viruses during the 1990s originate from separate introductions from feral birds. The observed heterogeneity of these viruses may reflect the gene pool for H9 viruses, which is maintained in shorebirds and gulls (Charadriiformes).

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Document Type: Review Article

Affiliations: Avian Virology, Veterinary Laboratories Agency Weybridge, Addlestone, Surrey KT15 3NB, UK

Publication date: August 1, 2000

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