DETECTION AND ISOLATION OF HIGHLY PATHOGENIC H5N1 AVIAN INFLUENZA A VIRUSES FROM BLOW FLIES COLLECTED IN THE VICINITY OF AN INFECTED POULTRY FARM IN KYOTO, JAPAN, 2004

KYOKO SAWABE Department of Medical Entomology, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan; Department of Veterinary Science, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan; Department of Virology III, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan

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KEITA HOSHINO Department of Medical Entomology, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan; Department of Veterinary Science, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan; Department of Virology III, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan

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HARUHIKO ISAWA Department of Medical Entomology, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan; Department of Veterinary Science, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan; Department of Virology III, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan

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TOSHINORI SASAKI Department of Medical Entomology, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan; Department of Veterinary Science, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan; Department of Virology III, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan

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TOSHIHIKO HAYASHI Department of Medical Entomology, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan; Department of Veterinary Science, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan; Department of Virology III, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan

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YOSHIO TSUDA Department of Medical Entomology, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan; Department of Veterinary Science, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan; Department of Virology III, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan

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HIROMU KURAHASHI Department of Medical Entomology, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan; Department of Veterinary Science, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan; Department of Virology III, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan

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KIYOSHI TANABAYASHI Department of Medical Entomology, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan; Department of Veterinary Science, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan; Department of Virology III, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan

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AKITOYO HOTTA Department of Medical Entomology, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan; Department of Veterinary Science, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan; Department of Virology III, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan

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TAKEHIKO SAITO Department of Medical Entomology, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan; Department of Veterinary Science, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan; Department of Virology III, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan

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AKIO YAMADA Department of Medical Entomology, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan; Department of Veterinary Science, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan; Department of Virology III, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan

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MUTSUO KOBAYASHI Department of Medical Entomology, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan; Department of Veterinary Science, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan; Department of Virology III, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan

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During the outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza that occurred in Tamba Town, Kyoto Prefecture in 2004, a total of 926 flies were collected from six sites within a radius of 2.3 km from the poultry farm. The H5 influenza A virus genes were detected from the intestinal organs, crop, and gut of the two blow fly species, Calliphora nigribarbis and Aldrichina grahami, by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction for the matrix protein (M) and hemagglutinin (HA) genes. The HA gene encoding multiple basic amino acids at the HA cleavage site indicated that this virus is a highly pathogenic strain. Based on the full-length sequences of the M, HA, and neuraminidase (NA) segments of virus isolates through embryonated chicken eggs, the virus from C. nigribarbis (A/blow fly/Kyoto/93/2004) was characterized as H5N1 subtype influenza A virus and shown to have > 99.9% identities in all three RNA segments to a strain from chickens (A/chicken/Kyoto/3/2004) and crows (A/crows/Kyoto/53/2004) derived during this outbreak period in Kyoto in 2004. Our results suggest it is possible that blow flies could become a mechanical transmitter of H5N1 influenza virus.

Author Notes

Reprint requests: Kyoko Sawabe, Department of Medical Entomology, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Toyama 1-23-1, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 185-0023, Japan. Telephone: 81-3-5285-1111, Fax: 81-3-5285-1147, E-mail: sawabe@nih.go.jp.
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