Influenza A virus subtypes in wild birds in North-Eastern Spain (Catalonia)

Núria Busquets, Anna Alba, Sebastián Napp, Azucena Sánchez, Erika Serrano, Raquel Rivas, José I. Núñez, Natàlia Majó

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Since the spread of H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza virus in 2005, many surveillance programmes have been initiated in poultry and wild birds worldwide. This study describes for the first time the detection of different subtypes of avian influenza viruses (AIV) in wild birds in the West Mediterranean area (Catalonia, North-Eastern Spain). During a 3-year period (from mid-2006 to mid-2009), 1374 birds from 16 different families were examined, and a total of 62 AIV were detected by means of a real-time reverse transcriptase PCR assay. AIV were more frequently detected in Anatidae, Phoenicopteridae, Rallidae and Laridae families. Of the 62 positive samples, 28 AIV could be isolated in embryonated eggs. All isolates were subtyped by haemagglutinin and neuraminidase inhibition techniques and 10 different haemagglutinins (HA) and 7 neuraminidases (NA) were found in 13 different subtype combinations. The most common combinations were H4N6 (22.2%) and H1N1 (18.5%). The HA and NA gene sequences of different AIV subtypes were compared and aligned with those available AIV strains from genome databases. Our studies on AIV phylogenetic analysis revealed that all AIV genes sequenced from wild birds in North-Eastern Spain clustered within Eurasian avian clades, including the sequences of H8, N4 and N5 genes analyzed for the first time in Europe. The results contribute to the understanding of AIV in the Mediterranean area and in Europe. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-18
JournalVirus Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2010


  • Avian influenza virus subtypes
  • Phylogenetic analysis
  • Real-time RT-PCR
  • Spain
  • Wild birds

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Influenza A virus subtypes in wild birds in North-Eastern Spain (Catalonia)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this