We have demonstrated by recombination of two highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses [A/FPV/Rostock (Hav1N1) × A/turkey/England/63 (Hav1-Nav3)] that recombinants can be isolated which are pathogenic as well as nonpathogenic for chickens. They carried the glycoproteins of either parent strains, and all are produced in infectious form in chick embryo cells. Genetic analysis revealed that the non-pathogenic recombinants possess a mixed RNA polymerase complex, consisting of pol 1, pol 2, ptra and NP gene products, while, with one exception, the pathogenic recombinants have the genes coding for the polymerase activity from one or other parent virus. The biological properties of the recombinant viruses did not correlate with their pathogenicity for chickens.


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