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2024-5-20 13:27:44

Du Y, Xia J, Wang Z, Xu J, Ji Y, Jin Y, Pu L, Xu S. Evolution of H6N6 viruses in China between 2014 and 2019 involves multiple reassortment events. Emerg Microbes Infect. 2024 Apr 6:2341142
submited by kickingbird at Apr, 7, 2024 14:31 PM from Emerg Microbes Infect. 2024 Apr 6:2341142

H6N6 avian influenza viruses (AIVs) have been widely detected in wild birds, poultry, and even mammals. Recently, H6N6 viruses were reported to be involved in the generation of H5 and H7 subtype viruses. To investigate the emergence, evolutionary pattern, and potential for an epidemic of H6N6 viruses, the complete genomes of 198 H6N6 viruses were analyzed, including 168 H6N6 viruses deposited in the NCBI and GISAID databases from inception to January 2019 and 30 isolates collected from China between November 2014 and January 2019. Using phylogenetic analysis, the 198 strains of H6N6 viruses were identified as 98 genotypes. Molecular clock analysis indicated that the evolution of H6N6 viruses in China was constant and not interrupted by selective pressure. Notably, the laboratory isolates reassorted with six subtype viruses: H6N2, H5N6, H7N9, H5N2, H4N2, and H6N8, resulting in nine novel H6N6 reassortment events. These results suggested that H6N6 viruses can act as an intermediary in the evolution of H5N6, H6N6, and H7N9 viruses. Animal experiments demonstrated that the 10 representative H6N6 viruses showed low pathogenicity in chickens and were capable of infecting mice without prior adaptation. Our findings suggest that H6N6 viruses play an important role in the evolution of AIVs, and it is necessary to continuously monitor and evaluate the potential epidemic of the H6N6 subtype viruses.

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