1887

Abstract

Eight avian influenza A (H5N6) viruses were isolated from live poultry markets (LPMs) in Sichuan and Jiangxi Provinces in China in 2014, including those close to the county where the human H5N6 infection occurred. Genetic and phylogenetic analyses revealed that these H5N6 viruses were novel reassortants between H5N1 clade 2.3.4 and H6N6 viruses, and had evolved into two distinct lineages (Sichuan and Jiangxi). Moreover, the human H5N6 virus was closely related to the avian-source viruses of Sichuan lineage. Notably, H5N6 viruses contained a T160A substitution in the haemagglutinin protein and an 11 aa deletion in the neuraminidase stalk, which may aid in enhancing viral affinity for human-like receptors and virulence in mammals. As the H5N1 virus infects humans through direct contact, infection with the novel H5N6 virus raised significant concerns that the H5 subtype was a likely candidate for a pandemic. Therefore, extensive and long-term surveillance of avian influenza viruses in LPMs is essential.

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2015-05-01
2019-10-19
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