Two low pathogenic (LP) avian influenza virus strains, A/mallard/Hungary/19616/07 (H3N8) and A/mute swan/Hungary/5973/07 (H7N7), isolated as part of the National Surveillance Program in Hungary, were fully sequenced and characterized. The two viruses showed the closest phylogenetic relationship regarding their acidic polymerase genes. The H7N7 Hungarian virus and some H5N2 influenza viruses isolated from Korean pigs appeared to have their basic polymerase gene 1 from a relatively recent common ancestor. The matrix gene nucleotide sequence of each Hungarian virus showed close relationship with contemporaneous Czech H3N8 mallard isolates, which belonged to distinct phylogenetic branches. The non-structural protein genes belonged to different alleles, rendering a peculiar characteristic to the H7N7 isolate compared to the so far analyzed Eurasian H7 viruses. The surface glycoprotein genes of the H3N8 isolate showed a close phylogenetic relationship and high nucleotide identities to H3N8 subtype isolates from Northern Europe collected in 2003-2006, and to an H3N2 isolate in Italy in 2006, extending the perceptions of this HA subtype across Northern and Southern Europe close to this period. These findings provide further data to the diversity of influenza viruses found in wild migratory birds and present useful information for large scale studies on influenza virus evolution.
- Avian influenza