Molecular Characterization of Closely Related H6N2 Avian Influenza Viruses Isolated from Turkey, Egypt, and Uganda

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Mercan Y., Atim G., Kayed A. E., Azbazdar M. E., Kandeil A., Ali M. A., ...More

VIRUSES-BASEL, vol.13, no.4, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 13 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.3390/v13040607
  • Journal Name: VIRUSES-BASEL
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, Food Science & Technology Abstracts, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Keywords: avian influenza virus, waterfowl, migratory birds, molecular markers, reassortment, AMINO-ACID, A VIRUSES, VIRULENCE, ORIGIN, GENE, TRANSMISSION, INFECTION, SUBTYPES, PROTEIN, PA
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


Genetic analysis of circulating avian influenza viruses (AIVs) in wild birds at different geographical regions during the same period could improve our knowledge about virus transmission dynamics in natural hosts, virus evolution as well as zoonotic potential. Here, we report the genetic and molecular characterization of H6N2 influenza viruses isolated from migratory birds in Turkey, Egypt, and Uganda during 2017-2018. The Egyptian and Turkish isolates were genetically closer to each other than they were to the virus isolated from Uganda. Our results also suggest that multiple reassortment events were involved in the genesis of the isolated viruses. All viruses contained molecular markers previously associated with increased replication and/or pathogenicity in mammals. The results of this study indicate that H6N2 viruses carried by migratory birds on the West Asian/East African and Mediterranean/Black Sea flyways have the potential to transmit to mammals including humans. Additionally, adaptation markers in these viruses indicate the potential risk for poultry, which also increases the possibility of human exposure to these viruses.