J Vet Sci.  2021 Mar;22(2):e21. 10.4142/jvs.2021.22.e21.

Genetic characterization of H9N2 avian influenza virus previously unrecognized in Korea

  • 1Avian Influenza Research & Diagnostic Division, Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency, Gimcheon 39660, Korea
  • 2College of Veterinary Medicine, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Korea


In this study, we describe the isolation and characterization of previously unreported Y280-lineage H9N2 viruses from two live bird markets in Korea in June 2020. Genetic analysis revealed that they were distinct from previous H9N2 viruses circulating in Korea and had highest homology to A/chicken/Shandong/1844/2019(H9N2) viruses. Their genetic constellation showed they belonged to genotype S, which is the predominant genotype in China since 2010, where genotype S viruses have infected humans and acted as internal gene donors to H5 and H7 zoonotic influenza viruses. Active surveillance and control measures need to be enhanced to protect the poultry industry and public health.


Avian influenza; H9N2; live bird market; phylogenetic analysis; surveillance
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