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Emerg Infect Dis. 2017 Jul;23(8):1332-1340. doi: 10.3201/eid2308.170600. Epub 2017 Aug 15.

Human Infection with Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza A(H7N9) Virus, China.


The recent increase in zoonotic avian influenza A(H7N9) disease in China is a cause of public health concern. Most of the A(H7N9) viruses previously reported have been of low pathogenicity. We report the fatal case of a patient in China who was infected with an A(H7N9) virus having a polybasic amino acid sequence at its hemagglutinin cleavage site (PEVPKRKRTAR/GL), a sequence suggestive of high pathogenicity in birds. Its neuraminidase also had R292K, an amino acid change known to be associated with neuraminidase inhibitor resistance. Both of these molecular features might have contributed to the patient's adverse clinical outcome. The patient had a history of exposure to sick and dying poultry, and his close contacts had no evidence of A(H7N9) disease, suggesting human-to-human transmission did not occur. Enhanced surveillance is needed to determine whether this highly pathogenic avian influenza A(H7N9) virus will continue to spread.


CMV reactivation; China; H7N9; HPAI; R292K mutation; acute respiratory distress syndrome; antimicrobial resistance; chickens; hemagglutinin; highly pathogenic avian influenza; hypoxia; influenza; neuraminidase; oseltamivir resistance; poultry; viral pneumonia; zoonoses

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