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. 2012 Jun;86(11):6075-83.
doi: 10.1128/JVI.06389-11. Epub 2012 Mar 21.

Establishment and Lineage Replacement of H6 Influenza Viruses in Domestic Ducks in Southern China

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Free PMC article

Establishment and Lineage Replacement of H6 Influenza Viruses in Domestic Ducks in Southern China

Kai Huang et al. J Virol. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Domestic ducks in southern China act as an important reservoir for influenza viruses and have also facilitated the establishment of multiple H6 influenza virus lineages. To understand the continuing evolution of these established lineages, 297 H6 viruses isolated from domestic ducks during 2006 and 2007 were genetically and antigenically analyzed. Phylogenetic analyses showed that group II duck H6 viruses had replaced the previously predominant group I lineage and extended their geographic distribution from coastal to inland regions. Group II H6 virus showed that the genesis and development of multiple types of deletions in the neuraminidase (NA) stalk region could occur in the influenza viruses from domestic ducks. A gradual replacement of the N2 NA subtype with N6 was observed. Significant antigenic changes occurred within group II H6 viruses so that they became antigenically distinguishable from group I and gene pool viruses. Gene exchange between group II H6 viruses and the established H5N1, H9N2, or H6N1 virus lineages in poultry in the region was very limited. These findings suggest that domestic ducks can facilitate significant genetic and antigenic changes in viruses established in this host and highlight gaps in our knowledge of influenza virus ecology and even the evolutionary behavior of this virus family in its aquatic avian reservoirs.

Figures

Fig 1
Fig 1
Phylogenetic relationships of the H6 HA (A), N2 NA (B), and N6 NA (C) genes of selected H6 influenza viruses from ducks in southern China. The phylogenetic trees were generated by the maximum-likelihood method using PhyML (version 3.0). Numbers below branches indicate approximate likelihood ratio test (aLRT) branch support. The H6 HA tree is rooted to Turkey/Canada/1965 (H6N2), N2 NA is rooted to Turkey/England/1969 (H3N2), and N6 is rooted to Duck/England/1/1956 (H11N6). Viruses highlighted in blue are those characterized in this study; those in red are reference strains. Virus subtypes other than H6 in the NA trees are indicated. Abbreviations are as follows: Aq, aquatic bird; Aus, Australia; Bei, Beijing; CA, California; Chn, China; Ck, Chicken; Cu, chukar; Deu, Germany; Dk, duck; E_Chn, Eastern China; FJ, Fujian; Fra, France; GD, Guangdong; Gs, goose; Gs/GD, Goose/Guangdong/1/96 (H5N1); GX, Guangxi; GZ, Guizhou; HK, Hong Kong; HN, Hunan; Ita, Italy; Jpn, Japan; JX, Jiangxi; Kor, South Korea; Md, mallard; MD, Maryland; MDk, migratory duck; MN, Minnesota; Mng, Mongolia; Nld, Netherlands; NSW, New South Wales, Australia; Pa, partridge; Ph, pheasant; Qa, quail; Rus, Russian Federation; Sb_Dk, spot-billed duck; SCk, Silky chicken; Sgp, Singapore; ST, Shantou, Guangdong; Sts, Sharp-tailed_sandpiper; Sw, swine; Swe, Sweden; TW, Taiwan; Ty, turkey; Vnm, Vietnam; WDk, wild duck; YN, Yunnan; Zaf, South Africa; Zmb, Zambia.
Fig 2
Fig 2
Phylogenetic relationships of the H6 PB2, PB1, and PA genes of selected H6 influenza viruses from ducks in southern China. The PB2 tree was rooted to Equine/Prague/1/56 (H7N7), the PB1 tree was rooted to Pintail Duck/ALB/219/77, and the PA tree was rooted to Equine/London/1416/73 (H7N7). Highlighting and abbreviations are as described in the legend of Fig. 1, with viruses of subtypes other than H6 indicated.
Fig 3
Fig 3
Phylogenetic relationships of the NP, M, and NS genes of selected H6 influenza viruses from ducks in southern China. All trees were rooted to Equine/Prague/1/56 (H7N7). Highlighting and abbreviations are as described in the legend of Fig. 1, with viruses of subtypes other than H6 indicated.

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