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Vet Microbiol. 2012 Mar 23;155(2-4):147-57. doi: 10.1016/j.vetmic.2011.08.028. Epub 2011 Sep 3.

Genetic relationship of H3 subtype avian influenza viruses isolated from domestic ducks and wild birds in Korea and their pathogenic potential in chickens and ducks.

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National Veterinary Research and Quarantine Service, Anyangro 175, Mahnan, Anyang, Gyeonggi 430-757, Republic of Korea.


The H3 subtype avian influenza virus (AIV) is one of the most frequently isolated subtypes in domestic ducks, live poultry markets, and wild birds in Korea. In 2002-2009, a total of 45 H3 subtype AIVs were isolated from the feces of clinically normal domestic ducks (n=28) and wild birds (n=17). The most prevalent subtypes in domestic ducks were H3N2 (35.7%), H3N6 (35.7%), H3N8 (25.0%), and H3N1 (3.6%, novel subtype in domestic duck in Korea). In contrast, H3N8 (70.6%) is the most prevalent subtype in wild birds in Korea. In the phylogenetic analysis, HA genes of the Korean H3 AIVs were divided into 3 groups (Korean duck, wild bird 1, and wild bird 2) and all viruses of duck origin except one were clustered in a single group. However, other genes showed extensive diversity and at least 17 genotypes were circulating in domestic ducks in Korea. When the analysis expanded to viruses of wild bird origin, the genetic diversity of Korean H3 AIVs became more complicated. Extensive reassortments may have occurred in H3 subtype influenza viruses in Korea. When we inoculated chickens and ducks with six selected viruses, some of the viruses replicated efficiently without pre-adaptation and shed a significant amount of viruses through oropharyngeal and cloacal routes. This raised concerns that H3 subtype AIV could be a new subtype in chickens in Korea. Continuous surveillance is needed to prepare the advent of a novel subtype AIV in Korea.

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