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PLoS One. 2013 Oct 30;8(10):e77132. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0077132. eCollection 2013.

Epidemiological surveillance of low pathogenic avian influenza virus (LPAIV) from poultry in Guangxi Province, Southern China.

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Guangxi Key Laboratory of Animal Vaccines and Diagnostics, Guangxi Veterinary Research Institute, Nanning, Guangxi Province, China.


Low pathogenic avian influenza virus (LPAIV) usually causes mild disease or asymptomatic infection in poultry. However, some LPAIV strains can be transmitted to humans and cause severe infection. Genetic rearrangement and recombination of even low pathogenic influenza may generate a novel virus with increased virulence, posing a substantial risk to public health. Southern China is regarded as the world "influenza epicenter", due to a rash of outbreaks of influenza in recent years. In this study, we conducted an epidemiological survey of LPAIV at different live bird markets (LBMs) in Guangxi province, Southern China. From January 2009 to December 2011, we collected 3,121 cotton swab samples of larynx, trachea and cloaca from the poultry at LBMs in Guangxi. Virus isolation, hemagglutination inhibition (HI) assay, and RT-PCR were used to detect and subtype LPAIV in the collected samples. Of the 3,121 samples, 336 samples (10.8%) were LPAIV positive, including 54 (1.7%) in chicken and 282 (9.1%) in duck. The identified LPAIV were H3N1, H3N2, H6N1, H6N2, H6N5, H6N6, H6N8, and H9N2, which are combinations of seven HA subtypes (H1, H3, H4, H6, H9, H10 and H11) and five NA subtypes (N1, N2, N5, N6 and N8). The H3 and H9 subtypes are predominant in the identified LPAIVs. Among the 336 cases, 29 types of mixed infection of different HA subtypes were identified in 87 of the cases (25.9%). The mixed infections may provide opportunities for genetic recombination. Our results suggest that the LPAIV epidemiology in poultry in the Guangxi province in southern China is complicated and highlights the need for further epidemiological and genetic studies of LPAIV in this area.

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