Identification of avian influenza virus subtype H9N2 in chicken farms in Indonesia

Avian influenza virus subtype H9N2 (AIV-H9N2) has become established in domestic poultry in Asia and Africa. AIV-H9N2 has not been reported previously in Indonesia. Here we describe the presence of AIV-H9N2 in chicken farms in Indonesia. Ninety-nine cases were observed in various provinces in Indonesia. Clinical signs, pathologic lesions and egg production were recorded. Confirmation was made using virus isolation, reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR), and sequencing. To construct hemaglutinin (HA) phylogeny, the secondary data of Eurasian lineages were downloaded from GenBank. For neuraminidase, five sequences with the highest similarities with every sequence found in this study were downloaded. Phylogeny was inferred using Neighbor-Joining method in MEGA6 package. Forty-nine AIV-H9N2-positive cases were observed, of which 35 were tested positive for AIV-H9N2 only. The age of the infected chickens was 43.17?±?16.56 weeks, and their egg production was 35.85?±?17.80% lower than before outbreak. BLAST search revealed that the nucleotide sequence of the HA-encoding gene identified in this study shared 98% sequence identity with that of A/Muscovy duck/Vietnam/LBM719/2014(H9N2), while its neuraminidase-encoding gene sequences shared 94%, 98%, and 100% identities with three different influenza viruses. The phylogeny shows that the HA of AIV-H9N2 found in this study forms distinct cluster with some Vietnam and China´s sequence data. The NA sequence data form three distinct clusters. We conclude that AIV-H9N2 is widespread in many provinces in Indonesia. To lessen economic losses to the poultry industry, flock biosecurity and vaccination against this virus subtype should be implemented rapidly. Thorough and rigid AIV surveillance is paramount to prevent further veterinary and public health consequences of the circulation of this virus in Indonesia.