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Molecular characterization of the hemagglutinin gene of H9N2 avian influenza viruses isolated from broiler flocks in Morocco from 2016 to 2018

Abstract : Avian influenza viruses of the H9N2 subtype continue to spread in wild birds and poultry worldwide. Infection with H9N2 avian influenza virus was detected for the first time in Morocco in January 2016. In this study, a total of 105 organ and tracheal swab samples from 21 broiler farms in Morocco were collected from July 2016 to October 2018 for H9N2 screening. The suspicion of disease was based on severe respiratory signs such as sneezing, coughing, rales and gasping, while H9N2 virus infection was confirmed by real-time RT-PCR. Hemagglutinin (HA) genes of four isolates were amplified by conventional RT-PCR, sequenced, and aligned for phylogenetic analyses. Among the 21 flocks, 48% (10/21) were qRT-PCR positive for H9, with the cycle threshold values ranging from18.6 to 34.8. The maximum similarity in nucleotide and protein sequences (96-98%) was observed between the Moroccan viruses and an H9 virus isolated from broiler chickens in 2017 in Burkina Faso (A/chicken/BurkinaFaso/17RS93-19/2017) and from a layer chicken in the United Arab Emirates in 2015 (A/chicken/Dubai/D2506/2015). The HA genes revealed the close relationship between the four Moroccan viruses, with 97.9%-99.9% nucleotide identity. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the Moroccan viruses belonged to the G1 lineage, and likely originated from the Middle East, as previously reported in 2016.
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https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-03214138
Contributor : Christine Riou <>
Submitted on : Friday, April 30, 2021 - 7:40:22 PM
Last modification on : Friday, June 4, 2021 - 5:42:01 PM

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Abderrazak El Khantour, Abdelmajid Soulaymani, Mohamed Salek, Abdelkarim Filali Maltouf, Sami Darkaoui, et al.. Molecular characterization of the hemagglutinin gene of H9N2 avian influenza viruses isolated from broiler flocks in Morocco from 2016 to 2018. Veterinarski Arhiv, 2020, 90 (5), pp.477-484. ⟨10.24099/vet.arhiv.0724⟩. ⟨hal-03214138⟩

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