Li Y, et al. Genotypic evolution and epidemiological characteristics of H9N2 influenza virus in Shandong Province, China. Poult Sci. 2019 Apr 2
H9N2 avian influenza has been prevalent in chicken flocks of China for years. In the first half year of 2018, clinical cases of suspected H9N2 infection were collected from chicken flocks in Shandong province. Nine strains of H9N2 influenza virus were isolated. The pathological changes of the dead chickens were mainly respiratory inflammation, renal swelling, and secondary infection. The microscopic lesions were consistent with the pathogenic characteristics of H9N2 influenza virus. From November 2017 to June 2018, a total of 3,380 serum samples were randomly collected from commercial laying hens in Shandong Province. The H9 antibody levels were tested with the isolated strain (CK/SD/231/17) as the antigen. It showed that the average of antibody titers of H9 avian influenza was 9.24 1og2. Hemagglutination inhibition experiments were conducted on chicken serum with the vaccine virus and the isolated virus (CK/SD/231/17) as the antigens. It was found that the antibody titer measured with the vaccine virus was 1 or 2 titers higher than the isolated strain. It indicated that the antigenicity of H9N2 circulating strain was different from that of vaccine strain. The nucleotide sequences of HA gene of these recent H9N2 avian influenza virus isolates shared homologies from 93.8 to 99.9%. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the eight gene segments of the viruses were in the same clades with G57 gene reference strain. The amino acid site analysis of influenza resistance showed that the virus was sensitive to neuraminidase inhibitors and resistant to amantadine. Highlights: The protection rate of the H9N2 AIV vaccine almost reached 100% before 2016, but the antibody level of serum samples showed high diversity in this study, which means the poultry were infected. The antigenicity of isolated H9N2 strains was different from that of vaccine strain. Current available vaccines may provide only limited protection.
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