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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 7  |  Page : 309-315

Spatio-temporal history of H9N2 viruses in Iran and neighbor countries by Bayesian analysis and molecular characterization


1 Divisions of Epidemiology & Zoonoses, Department of Food Hygiene and Quality Control, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tehran; HIV/STI Surveillance Research Center, and WHO Collaborating Center for HIV Surveillance, Institute for Futures Studies in Health, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran
2 Divisions of Epidemiology & Zoonoses, Department of Food Hygiene and Quality Control, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tehran, Iran
3 Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Research Centre for Emerging and Reemerging Infectious Diseases, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Tehran, Iran

Correspondence Address:
Saied Bokaie
Divisions of Epidemiology & Zoonoses, Department of Food Hygiene and Quality Control, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tehran
Iran
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1995-7645.320521

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Objective: To delineate the H9N2 influenza virus circulation within Iran and its neighboring countries, the potential source of the epidemic in these countries, and its date of origin. Methods: We obtained all hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) nucleotide sequences of influenza H9N2 available up to December 25, 2020 from Iran and its neighboring countries (i.e., Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkey, and Iraq). We also performed a Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo method to infer the evolutionary dynamic and the most recent common ancestor for the HA and NA sequences. Results: H9N2 epidemic may have started in Iran and Pakistan much earlier than the other investigated countries in the region, and an ongoing bidirectional dispersion of the virus between the investigated countries was also observed. The mean time of the most recent common ancestor of H9N2 viruses was 1988 for HA, and 1992 for NA. Conclusions: Strains from investigated countries rooted in Pakistan and Iran. Regular surveillance of H9N2 viruses, especially in the live bird markets, enhancing the biosecurity of poultry industry and screening newly arriving immigrants and tourists from neighboring countries at border should be considered to control spread of the virus. Furthermore, surveillance of viral molecular evolution should be initiated for effective prevention of epidemic and pandemic spreads.


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