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J Gen Virol. 2005 Feb;86(Pt 2):423-33.

Molecular characterization of the complete genome of human influenza H5N1 virus isolates from Thailand.

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Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok 10700, Thailand.


The complete genomes of three human H5N1 influenza isolates were characterized, together with the haemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) genes from two additional human isolates and one chicken isolate. These six influenza isolates were obtained from four different provinces of Thailand during the avian influenza outbreak in Asia from late 2003 to May 2004. All six Thailand isolates contained multiple basic amino acids at the cleavage site in the HA gene. Amino acid residues at the receptor-binding site of the five human viruses were similar to those of the chicken virus and other H5N1 viruses from Hong Kong. The presence of amantadine resistance in the Thailand viruses isolated during this outbreak was suggested by a fixed mutation in M2 and confirmed by a phenotypic assay. All genomic segments of the Thailand viruses clustered with the recently described genotype Z. The Thailand viruses contained more avian-specific residues than the 1997 Hong Kong H5N1 viruses, suggesting that the virus may have adapted to allow a more efficient spread in avian species.

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