Genetic and antigenic characterization of H5 and H7 influenza viruses isolated from migratory water birds in Hokkaido, Japan and Mongolia from 2010 to 2014.Virus Genes. 2015 Aug; 51(1):57-68.VG
Migratory water birds are the natural reservoir of influenza A viruses. H5 and H7 influenza viruses are isolated over the world and also circulate among poultry in Asia. In 2010, two H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses (HPAIVs) were isolated from fecal samples of water birds on the flyway of migration from Siberia, Russia to the south in Hokkaido, Japan. H7N9 viruses are sporadically isolated from humans and circulate in poultry in China. To monitor whether these viruses have spread in the wild bird population, we conducted virological surveillance of avian influenza in migratory water birds in autumn from 2010 to 2014. A total of 8103 fecal samples from migratory water birds were collected in Japan and Mongolia, and 350 influenza viruses including 13 H5 and 19 H7 influenza viruses were isolated. A phylogenetic analysis revealed that all isolates are genetically closely related to viruses circulating among wild water birds. The results of the antigenic analysis indicated that the antigenicity of viruses in wild water birds is highly stable despite their nucleotide sequence diversity but is distinct from that of HPAIVs recently isolated in Asia. The present results suggest that HPAIVs and Chinese H7N9 viruses were not predominantly circulating in migratory water birds; however, continued monitoring of H5 and H7 influenza viruses both in domestic and wild birds is recommended for the control of avian influenza.