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Title: Characterization of low pathogenicity avian influenza viruses isolated from wild birds in Mongolia 2005 through 2007

item Spackman, Erica
item Swayne, David
item Gilbert, Martin
item Joly, Damien
item Karesh, William
item Suarez, David
item Sodnomdarjaa, Ra
item Dulam, Purevtseren
item Cardona, Carol

Submitted to: Virology Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/21/2009
Publication Date: 11/23/2009
Publication URL:
Citation: Spackman, E., Swayne, D.E., Gilbert, M., Joly, D., Karesh, W., Suarez, D.L., Sodnomdarjaa, R., Dulam, P., Cardona, C. 2009. Characterization of low pathogenicity avian influenza viruses isolated from wild birds in Mongolia 2005 through 2007. Virology Journal. 6:190.

Interpretive Summary: Three years (2005-2007) of wild bird sampling were conducted in Mongolia to monitor for avian influenza virus. Since there is very little domestic poultry production in Mongolia, any recovered avian influenza viruses would have been introduced and disseminated by wild birds, not poultry. A total of 9 low pathogenicity viruses were isolated from 6 different species of birds. The gene sequences of all nine viruses were determined and analyzed for their relationship to other avian influenza viruses. The were most closely related to other low pathogenicity avian influenza viruses from wild birds in Asia and Europe. Importantly there was year-to-year genetic variation and mixing of genes among the viruses. Elucidating these virus relationships demonstrate how avian influenza virus is disseminated and which species are involved in Asia.

Technical Abstract: During 2005, 2006 and 2007 2,139 specimens representing 4,077 individual birds of 45 species were tested for avian influenza virus (AIV) as part of a wild bird AIV monitoring program conducted in Mongolia. Samples collected in 2005 were tested by virus isolation directly, samples from 2006 and 2007 were first screened by real-time RT-PCR (rRT-PCR) and only the rRT-PCR positive specimens were processed for virus isolation. Of 1,841 samples collected in 2006 and 2007 there were 90 rRT-PCR positive samples representing 89 individual birds of 19 species. A total of 9 low pathogenicity (LP) AIVs were isolated from six different species. The full genomes of each virus isolate was sequenced and phylogenetic analysis was performed. All nine viruses were most closely related to recent European and Asian wild bird linage AIVs, although not all viruses from Mongolia were closely related to each other and there was evidence of reassortment.