Molecular Characterization of a New Hemagglutinin, Subtype H14, of Influenza A Virus

Virology. 1990 Dec;179(2):759-67. doi: 10.1016/0042-6822(90)90143-f.


Two influenza A viruses whose hemagglutinin (HA) did not react with any of the reference antisera for the 13 recognized HA subtypes were isolated from mallard ducks in the USSR. Antigenic analysis by hemagglutination inhibition and double immunodiffusion tests showed that the HAs of these viruses are similar to each other but distinct from the HAs of other influenza A viruses. Nucleotide sequence analysis showed that these HA genes differ from each other by only 21 nucleotides. However, they differ from all other HA subtypes at the amino acid level by at least 31% in HAI. Thus, we propose that the HAs of these viruses [A/Mallard/Gurjev/263/82 (H14N5) and A/Mallard/Gurjev/244/82 (H14N6) belong to a previously unrecognized subtype, and are designated H14. Unlike any other HAs of influenza viruses, the H14 HAs contained lysine at the cleavage site between HA1 and HA2 instead of arginine. Experimental infection of domestic poultry and ferrets with A/Mallard/Gurjev/263/82 (H14N5) showed that the virus is avirulent for these animals. Based on comparative sequence analysis of different HA genes, it is suggested that differences of 30% or more at the amino acid level in HA1 constitute separate subtypes. Phylogenetic analysis of representatives of each HA subtype showed that H14 is one of the most recently diverged lineages while H8 and H12 branched off early during the evolution of the HA subtypes. These latter two subtypes (H8 and H12) have been isolated very infrequently in recent years, suggesting that these old subtypes may be disappearing from the influenza reservoirs in nature.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Antigens, Viral / analysis
  • Base Sequence
  • Chickens / microbiology
  • Ducks / microbiology
  • Ferrets / microbiology
  • Hemagglutinins, Viral / genetics
  • Hemagglutinins, Viral / immunology*
  • Influenza A virus / genetics
  • Influenza A virus / immunology*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phylogeny
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
  • Virus Replication


  • Antigens, Viral
  • Hemagglutinins, Viral
  • RNA, Messenger

Associated data

  • GENBANK/M35996
  • GENBANK/M35997