In April 2008 an avian influenza outbreak was diagnosed in Primorsky Krai, Russia, during the spring migration of wild birds, and A/Chicken/Primorsky/85/08 H5N1 isolate was recovered. The virus had more than 99% genetic identity with A/Whooper Swan/Hokkaido/1/08 H5N1 and A/Whooper Swan/Hokkaido/2/08 H5N1 viruses that were isolated in April 2008 in Japan. The amino acid sequence of the hemagglutinin cleavage site (PQRERRRKRGLF) and intravenous pathotyping index value (IVPI 2.80) were determined; on this basis the virus was characterized as highly pathogenic. The hemagglutinin gene of the virus was shown to belong to clade 2.3.2 while other genes (PB1, PB2, PA, NP, NA, M, NS) were characteristic of Fujian-like sublineage, recovered in the territory of Russia for the first time.
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Vol. 54 • No. s1