The avian influenza H9N2 at avian-human interface: A possible risk for the future pandemics

Shagayegh Rahimi-Rad, Ali Alizadeh, Effat Alizadeh, Seyyed Masoud Hosseini



The avian influenza subtype H9N2 is considered a low  pathogenic virus which is endemic in domestic poultry of a majority of Asian countries. Many reports of seropositivity in occupationally poultry-exposed workers and a number of confirmed human infections with an H9N2 subtype of avian influenza have been documented up to now. Recently, the human infections with both H7N9 and H10N8 viruses highlighted that H9N2 has a great potential for taking a part in the emergence of new human-infecting viruses. This review aimed at discussing the great potential of H9N2 virus which is circulating at avian-human interface, for cross-species transmission, contribution in the production of new reassortants and emergence of new pandemic subtypes. An intensified surveillance is needed for controlling the future risks which would be created by H9N2 circulation at avian-human interfaces.

Key words: Avian influenza, future pandemics, H9N2, human infection, human interface, reassortment potential

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