Journal article

Detection of Evolutionarily Distinct Avian Influenza A Viruses in Antarctica

Aeron C Hurt, Dhanasekaran Vijaykrishna, Jeffrey Butler, Chantal Baas, Sebastian Maurer-Stroh, M Carolina Silva-de-la-Fuente, Gonzalo Medina-Vogel, Bjorn Olsen, Anne Kelso, Ian G Barr, Daniel Gonzalez-Acuna



ABSTRACT Distinct lineages of avian influenza viruses (AIVs) are harbored by spatially segregated birds, yet significant surveillance gaps exist around the globe. Virtually nothing is known from the Antarctic. Using virus culture, molecular analysis, full genome sequencing, and serology of samples from Adélie penguins in Antarctica, we confirmed infection by H11N2 subtype AIVs. Their genetic segments were distinct from all known contemporary influenza viruses, including South American AIVs, suggesting spatial separation from other lineages. Only in the matrix and polymerase acidic gene phylogenies did the Antarctic sequences form a sister relationship to South American AIVs, whereas distant ..

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Awarded by Instituto Antartico Chileno

Awarded by Singapore Ministry of Education Academic Research Fund

Funding Acknowledgements

The fieldwork was funded by the Instituto Antartico Chileno as part of the project INACH T-27-10: "The common seabird tick Ixodes uriae (White, 1852) as vector of pathogenic virus, bacteria and protozoa to penguins of the Antarctic environment." The Melbourne WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza is supported by the Australian Government Department of Health. D. V. is funded by the Agency of Science, Technology and Research, Singapore, and the Ministry of Health, Singapore, and Singapore Ministry of Education Academic Research Fund grant MOE2011-T2-2-049.