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Email Content: Poultry Industry News, Comments and more by Simon M. Shane

Zoonotic Potential of H9N2 Avian Influenza Virus


A recently published study demonstrated the potential of H9N2 avian influenza virus to infect humans. Over the period January 2015 through June 2016, 117 nasal swabs specimens were obtained from poultry workers in Pakistan of which only one sample yielded H9N2 virus.

Molecular characterization showed that since introduction into poultry flocks in Pakistan approximately ten years ago, H9N2 virus has undergone mutation with insertion of a leucine residue at position 226, associated with affinity for alpha-2, 6 binding. This deviation from lineages isolated in Hong Kong in 1999 and 2009 and Bangladesh in 2011 presumes infectivity for humans.

The authors emphasized the need for surveillance of avian isolates and to conduct molecular assay of endemic strains to detect possible mutations that could predict the emergence of a pandemic strain.

*Ali, M. et al Avian Influenza A (H9N2) Virus in Poultry Worker, Pakistan, 2015 Emerging Infectious Diseases. 25: 136-139 (2019)

Copyright 2019 Simon M. Shane