Wild birds in Chile Harbor diverse avian influenza A viruses

Emerg Microbes Infect. 2018 Mar 29;7(1):44. doi: 10.1038/s41426-018-0046-9.


While the circulation of avian influenza viruses (IAV) in wild birds in the northern hemisphere has been well documented, data from South America remain sparse. To address this gap in knowledge, we undertook IAV surveillance in wild birds in parts of Central and Northern Chile between 2012 and 2015. A wide diversity of hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) subtypes were identified and 16 viruses were isolated including low pathogenic H5 and H7 strains, making this the largest and most diverse collection of Chilean avian IAVs to date. Unlike IAVs isolated from wild birds in other South American countries where the genes were most like viruses isolated from wild birds in either North America or South America, the Chilean viruses were reassortants containing genes like viruses isolated from both continents. In summary, our studies demonstrate that genetically diverse avian IAVs are circulating in wild birds in Chile highlighting the need for further investigation in this understudied area of the world.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Wild / virology*
  • Birds / virology*
  • Chile / epidemiology
  • Genetic Variation
  • Hemagglutinin Glycoproteins, Influenza Virus / genetics
  • Influenza A virus / genetics
  • Influenza A virus / isolation & purification*
  • Influenza in Birds / epidemiology*
  • Influenza in Birds / virology
  • Neuraminidase / genetics
  • Phylogeny
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA


  • Hemagglutinin Glycoproteins, Influenza Virus
  • Neuraminidase