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Virology. 2003 Jan 20;305(2):267-75.

The influenza virus gene pool in a poultry market in South central china.

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  • 1Virology Division, Department of Infectious Diseases, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee 38105, USA.


We surveyed influenza activity in a live poultry market in Central China for 16 months, isolating viruses from 1% of 6360 fecal samples. We obtained multiple H3N6, H9N2, H2N9, H3N3, and H4N6 isolates and single H1N1 and H3N2 isolates. Two distinct H3 molecules were identified; other hemagglutinin subtypes were phylogenetically homogeneous. The H3N6 viruses (9 genotypes) and H9N2 viruses (4 genotypes) were genetically heterogeneous, whereas the H2N9, H3N3 and H4N6 viruses had single genotypes. Thirteen representative viruses were tested for their ability to replicate in quail and chickens. All tested viruses replicated in the respiratory tract of quail. Only nine of the viruses were shed in detectable levels in infected chickens, and four of these were detected in less than 50% of infected birds. A single H4N6 isolate caused disease and systemic spread in chickens. These findings show that quail are broadly susceptible to different subtypes of influenza A virus.

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