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2022-7-3 11:13:30

Pawar SD, Keng SS, Kode SS, Tare DS, Singh DK, Mul. A novel reassortant avian influenza H4N6 virus isolated from an environmental sample during a surveillance in Maharashtra, India. Indian J Med Res. 2021 Jun;154(6):871-887
submited by kickingbird at Jun, 7, 2022 11:52 AM from Indian J Med Res. 2021 Jun;154(6):871-887

Background & objectives: Low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) viruses cause mild clinical illness in domestic birds. Migratory birds are a known reservoir for all subtypes of avian influenza (AI) viruses. The objective of the study was to characterize AI H4N6 virus isolated from an environmental sample during surveillance in Maharashtra, India.

Methods: AI surveillance in wild migratory birds was conducted during the winter migratory bird season (2016-2017) in Pune, India. AI H4N6 virus was isolated from the faecal droppings of a wild migratory waterbird. Virological and molecular characterization of the isolated virus was carried out. Virus titration, haemagglutination inhibition assay, receptor specificity assay, intravenous pathogenicity index and neuraminidase inhibition assays were performed. Full genome sequencing, molecular and phylogenetic analyses were also conducted.

Results: The virus was found to be of low pathogenicity, with avian type receptor specificity, and was susceptible to neuraminidase inhibitors. Phylogenetic and molecular analysis revealed that the present virus is a result of extensive reassortment with AI H8N4, H6N2, H4N3 and H3N6, predominantly as donor viruses among others.

Interpretation & conclusions: This is the first report of the isolation and characterization of an LPAI H4N6 virus from an environmental sample from India. The present study showed that the H4N6 virus is a novel reassortant and divergent as compared with the reported H4N6 viruses from poultry in India, indicating independent introduction. This highlights the role of wild and migratory birds in the transmission of AI viruses and necessity of such studies at the human-animal interface.

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