Article ID: 17-0048
Thirty-two muskrats (Ondatra zibethicus) were captured for surveillance of avian influenza virus in wild waterfowl and mammals near Lake Chany, Western Siberia, Russia. A/muskrat/Russia/63/2014 (H2N2) was isolated from an apparently healthy muskrat using chicken embryos. Based on phylogenetic analysis, the hemagglutinin and neuraminidase genes of this isolate were classified into the Eurasian avian-like influenza virus clade and closely related to low pathogenic avian influenza viruses (LPAIVs) isolated from wild water birds in Italy and Sweden, respectively. Other internal genes were also closely related to LPAIVs isolated from Eurasian wild water birds. Results suggest that interspecies transmission of LPAIVs from wild water birds to semiaquatic mammals occurs, facilitating the spread and evolution of LPAIVs in wetland areas of Western Siberia.