Influenza and other respiratory viruses 2017 11 15() doi 10.1111/irv.12519
There is insufficient knowledge about the relation of avian influenza virus (AIV) to migratory birds in South America. Accordingly, we studied samples obtained over a 4-year period (2009-2012) from wild birds at a major wintering site in Southern Brazil.
We obtained 1212 oropharyngeal/cloacal samples from wild birds at Lagoa do Peixe National Park and screened them for influenza A virus by RT-PCR amplification of the matrix gene. Virus isolates were subjected to genomic sequencing and antigenic characterization.
Forty-eight samples of 1212 (3.96%) contained detectable influenza virus RNA. Partial viral sequences were obtained from 12 of these samples, showing the presence of H2N2 (1), H6Nx (1), H6N1 (8), H9N2 (1), and H12N5 (1) viruses. As H6 viruses predominated, we generated complete genomes from all nine H6 viruses. Phylogenetic analyses showed that they were most similar to viruses of South American lineage. The H6N1 viruses caused no disease signs in infected ferrets and, despite genetic differences, were antigenically similar to North American isolates.
Lagoa do Peixe National Park is a source of multiple AIV subtypes, with the levels of influenza virus in birds being highest at the end of their wintering period in this region. H6N1 viruses were the predominant subtype identified. These viruses were more similar to viruses of South American lineage than to those of North American lineage. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.