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Virology. 2008 Sep 1;378(2):363-70. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2008.06.010. Epub 2008 Jul 15.

Avian influenza virus isolated in wild waterfowl in Argentina: evidence of a potentially unique phylogenetic lineage in South America.

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Instituto de Virología, CICVyA, Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria, C.C. 25, Castelar (1712), Buenos Aires, Argentina.


Avian influenza (AI) viruses have been sporadically isolated in South America. The most recent reports are from an outbreak in commercial poultry in Chile in 2002 and its putative ancestor from a wild bird in Bolivia in 2001. Extensive surveillance in wild birds was carried out in Argentina during 2006-2007. Using RRT-PCR, 12 AI positive detections were made from cloacal swabs. One of those positive samples yielded an AI virus isolated from a wild kelp gull (Larus dominicanus) captured in the South Atlantic coastline of Argentina. Further characterization by nucleotide sequencing reveals that it belongs to the H13N9 subtype. Phylogenetic analysis of the 8 viral genes suggests that the 6 internal genes are related to the isolates from Chile and Bolivia. The analysis also indicates that a cluster of phylogenetically related AI viruses from South America may have evolved independently, with minimal gene exchange, from influenza viruses in other latitudes. The data produced from our investigations are valuable contributions to the study of AI viruses in South America.

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