The #molecular characteristics of #avian #influenza viruses (#H9N2) derived from #air samples in live #poultry #markets (Infect Genet Evol., abstract)

[Source: US National Library of Medicine, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Infect Genet Evol. 2018 Jun;60:191-196. doi: 10.1016/j.meegid.2018.01.009. Epub 2018 Jan 10.

The molecular characteristics of avian influenza viruses (H9N2) derived from air samples in live poultry markets.

Wu Y1, Lin J1, Yang S1, Xie Y1, Wang M1, Chen X1, Zhu Y1, Luo L1, Shi W2.

Author information: 1 Zhongshan Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Zhongshan, Guangdong Province, PR China; Zhongshan Institute of School of Public Health, Zhongshan, Guangdong Province, PR China. 2 Zhongshan Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Zhongshan, Guangdong Province, PR China; Zhongshan Institute of School of Public Health, Zhongshan, Guangdong Province, PR China. Electronic address:




To study the molecular characteristics of H9N2-subtype avian influenza viruses (AIVs) isolated from air samples collected in live poultry markets (LPMs) and explore their sequence identities with AIVs that caused human infection.


Weekly surveillance of H9N2-subtype AIVs in the air of LPMs was conducted from 2015 to 2016. H9-positive samples were isolated from chicken embryos. Whole genome sequences of the isolated AIVs were obtained through high-throughput sequencing. Phylogenetic analysis and key loci variations of the sequences were further analyzed.


A total of 327 aerosol samples were collected from LPMs. Nine samples were positive for H9-subtype AIVs based on quantitative real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRRT-PCR). According to the whole genome sequence analysis and phylogenetic analysis, except for the A/Environment/Zhongshan/ZS201505/2015 (ZS201505) strain, 8 gene segments of 8 aerosol H9N2 isolates and 2 H9N2 human isolates in 2015 were located in the same clade. Among key loci variations, except for the ZS201505 strain, H9N2-subtype AIVs had no mutations in eight receptor binding sites of hemagglutinin (HA), and stalks of neuraminidase (NA) proteins exhibited a deletion site of three bases. The PA gene of ZS201503 and ZS201602 exhibited an L336M mutation. The N30D and T215A mutations in the M1 gene and amino acid residues L89V in PB2, P42S in NS1 and S31N in M2 were retained in these 9 strains of H9N2 isolates, which could enhance the virus’s virulence.


Live H9N2 AIVs survived in the aerosol of LPMs in Zhongshan City. The aerosol viruses had a close evolutionary relationship with human epidemic strains, indicating that there might be a risk of AIV transmission from polluted aerosols in LPMs to humans. Mutations in H9N2-subtype AIVs isolated from air samples collected from LPMs suggested their pathogenicity was enhanced to infect humans.

Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier B.V.

KEYWORDS: Aerosol sample; H9N2-subtype avian influenza virus; Live poultry market; Molecular characteristics

PMID: 29331671 DOI: 10.1016/j.meegid.2018.01.009 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Keywords: Avian Influenza; H9N2; Human; Poultry; China.


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Giuseppe Michieli

I am an Italian blogger, active since 2005 with main focus on emerging infectious diseases such as avian influenza, SARS, antibiotics resistance, and many other global Health issues. Other fields of interest are: climate change, global warming, geological and biological sciences. My activity consists mainly in collection and analysis of news, public services updates, confronting sources and making decision about what are the 'signals' of an impending crisis (an outbreak, for example). When a signal is detected, I follow traces during the entire course of an event. I started in 2005 my blog ''A TIME'S MEMORY'', now with more than 40,000 posts and 3 millions of web interactions. Subsequently I added an Italian Language blog, then discontinued because of very low traffic and interest. I contributed for seven years to a public forum ( in the midst of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa in 2014, I left the site to continue alone my data tracking job.