Genetic characterization of H5N1 avian influenza viruses isolated in southern China during the 2003-04 avian influenza outbreaks.Arch Virol 2005; 150(6):1257-66AV
The recent H5N1 avian influenza outbreaks in Asia spread over more than 8 countries. It has caused enormous economic loss and grand challenges for the public health. During these breakouts we isolated three strains of H5N1 Avian Influenza Virus (AIV) from chickens and one from duck in different farms of Southern China. We completely sequenced these four AIVs. Molecular characterization demonstrated that these strains retain the reported H5N1 AIV sequence properties relevant to virus virulence and host adaptation. Phylogeny results demonstrated that three of these isolates (except A/Chicken/Guangdong/174/04) were closely linked to other H5N1 AIVs isolated from the recent H5N1 outbreaks in Asia. Six of 8 segments (except PA and M) of A/Chicken/Guangdong/174/04 also shares a close linkage to other H5N1 AIVs isolated from the recent H5N1 outbreaks. However, the PA gene of A/Chicken/Guangdong/174/04 and another H5N1 strain forms a distinct subgroup along with an H6N1 AIV, and the M gene of A/Chicken/Guangdong/174/04 shows a close linkage to some H5N1 AIVs from aquatic species in China. Our findings suggest that a new genotype of AIV (in addition to previous reported ones) was present during the 2003-04 Asian bird flu outbreaks and that continuing virus surveillance of AIVs be conducted to monitor the evolutionary paths of the A/Chicken/Guangdong/174/04-like AIVs.