Neuraminidase gene sequence analysis of avian influenza H9N2 viruses isolated from Iran



Influenza A viruses possesses two virion surface glycoproteins including haemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA). The NA plays an important role in viral replication and promotes virus release from infected cells and facilitates virus spread throughout the body. To find out any genomic changes that might be occurred on NA gene of avian influenza circulating viruses, we have genetically analyzed the neuraminidase gene of six Avian Influenza (AI) viruses H9N2 subtype isolated from different parts of Iran. A comparison of deduced amino acid sequences, showed some amino acid substitutions among the local AI isolates. However no insertions/deletions or shortening in the stalk region of the genes were observed. Mutation in Glu 119 as a marker for enzyme sensitivity to the antiviral drugs was not observed. Phylogenitic analysis revealed three distinct groups among the isolates of Iran, Hong Kong, and Pakistan/Japan/Saudi Arabia respectively. Based on the results, no significant mutations in NA genes of the viruses isolated during the period of the study occurred and our findings are in agreement with results of previous study of the viruses indicated a low pathogen character for the isolates on the basis of amino acid sequence of HA cleavage site and experimental infection.