A unique influenza A (H5N1) virus causing a focal poultry outbreak in 2007 in Manipur, India A focal H5N1 outbreak in poultry was reported from Manipur, a north-eastern state, of India, in 2007. The aim of this study was to genetically characterize the Manipur isolate to understand the relationship with other H5N1 isolates and to trace the possible source of introduction of the virus into the country. Results: Characterization of the complete genome revealed that the virus belonged to clade 2.2. It was distinctly different from viruses of the three EMA sublineages of clade 2.2 but related to isolates from wild migratory waterfowl from Russia, China and Mongolia. The HA gene, had the cleavage site GERRRRKR, earlier reported in whooper swan isolates from Mongolia in 2005. snip Conclusions: Considering that all eight genes of the earlier Indian isolates belonged to the EMA3 sublineage and similar strains have not been reported from neighbouring countries of the subcontinent, it appears that the virus may have been introduced independently.

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