An avian influenza virus (AIV), A/Emu/Israel/552/2010/ (H5N1), was isolated from a dead emu that was found in the Ein Gedi oasis near the Dead Sea. The virus molecular characterization was performed by reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and real-time RT-PCR using AIV subtype-specific primers. The virus was of high pathogenicity, according to its intravenous pathogenicity index of 2.85 and the nucleotide sequencing at the cleavage site of the hemagglutinin gene, GERRRKKR, which is typical for highly pathogenic chicken influenza A viruses.
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Vol. 55 • No. 3