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Emerg Infect Dis. 2007 Apr;13(4):539-46.

Influenza (H5N1) viruses in poultry, Russian Federation, 2005-2006.

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St Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee 38105, USA.


We studied 7 influenza (H5N1) viruses isolated from poultry in western Siberia and the European part of the Russian Federation during July 2005-February 2006. Full genome sequences showed high homology to Qinghai-like influenza (H5N1) viruses. Phylogenetic analysis not only showed a close genetic relationship between the H5N1 strains isolated from poultry and wild migratory waterfowls but also suggested genetic reassortment among the analyzed isolates. Analysis of deduced amino acid sequences of the M2 and neuraminidase proteins showed that all isolates are potentially sensitive to currently available antiviral drugs. Pathogenicity testing showed that all studied viruses were highly pathogenic in chickens; for 3 isolates tested in mice and 2 tested in ferrets, pathogenicity was heterogeneous. Pathogenicity in mammalian models was generally correlated with Lys at residue 627 of polymerase basic protein 2.

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