Apart from an outbreak in commercial poultry in Chile in 2002, there have been few reports of avian influenza in South America. However, surveillance in free-flying birds has been limited. An avian influenza virus was isolated from a Cinnamon Teal (Anas cyanoptera) in Bolivia in 2001 from samples collected for an avian influenza virus and avian paramyxovirus surveillance study. This isolate was determined to be an H7N3 virus by gene sequencing. Analysis of all eight genes revealed that five genes were most closely related to the H7N3 in Chile in 2002. Two genes were most closely related to North American wild aquatic bird virus lineages and one gene was most closely related to an equine influenza virus from South America.
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Vol. 51 • No. s1