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Characterization of H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses isolated from poultry in Pakistan 2006-2008

Wasilenko, Jamie L., Pantin-Jackwood, Mary, Khan, Taseer Ahmed, Ahmed, Ayaz, Rehmani, Shafqat F., Lone, Nazir Ahmed, Swayne, David E., Spackman, Erica
Virus Genes 2012 v.44 pp. 247
Influenza A virus, avian influenza, genes, hemagglutinins, nucleotide sequences, pathogenicity, phylogeny, poultry, sialidase, Pakistan
Nine avian influenza viruses (AIV), H5N1 subtype, were isolated from dead poultry in the Karachi region of Pakistan from 2006-2008. The intravenous pathogenicity indices and HA protein cleavage sites of all nine viruses were consistent with highly pathogenic AIV. Based on phylogenetic analysis of the HA genes these isolates belong to clade 2.2 and both the HA and NA are closely related to each other (nucleotide identities above 99.0%) and to other Middle Eastern H5N1 AIV isolates (nucleotide identities above 98.0%). The phylogenetic data suggest that the virus in both epornitics of H5N1 HPAIV in commercial poultry in the Karachi region of Pakistan between 2006 and 2008 were from a very closely related source, however there is inadequate epidemiological data to determine what the reservoir was for the virus between the 2006 and 2007 outbreaks other than that there was a single introduction into the region.