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Isolation and genetic characterization of naturally NS-truncated H3N8 equine influenza virus in South Korea

  • W. NA (a1) (a2), B. KANG (a3), H.-I. KIM (a4), M. HONG (a1) (a2), S.-J. PARK (a1), H.-Y. JEOUNG (a5), D.-J. AN (a5), H. MOON (a3), J.-K. KIM (a6) and D. SONG (a1) (a2)...

Summary

Equine influenza virus (EIV) causes a highly contagious respiratory disease in equids, with confirmed outbreaks in Europe, America, North Africa, and Asia. Although China, Mongolia, and Japan have reported equine influenza outbreaks, Korea has not. Since 2011, we have conducted a routine surveillance programme to detect EIV at domestic stud farms, and isolated H3N8 EIV from horses showing respiratory disease symptoms. Here, we characterized the genetic and biological properties of this novel Korean H3N8 EIV isolate. This H3N8 EIV isolate belongs to the Florida sublineage clade 1 of the American H3N8 EIV lineage, and surprisingly, possessed a non-structural protein (NS) gene segment, where 23 bases of the NS1-encoding region were naturally truncated. Our preliminary biological data indicated that this truncation did not affect virus replication; its effect on biological and immunological properties of the virus will require further study.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

* Author for correspondence: Dr D. Song, 125 Gwahak-ro, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon 305-806, South Korea. (Email: sds1@kribb.re.kr) [D. Song] (Email: jkfrancis@korea.ac.kr) [J.-K. Kim]

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