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Chinese scientists reveal H7N9 flu virus origins

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-04-24 06:12

BEIJING - Scientists have found that the H7N9 flu virus in humans has a similar gene sequence to that of H7N9 found in live poultry, the China Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) said Tuesday.

Chinese scientists reveal H7N9 flu virus origins

Studies were carried out by CAAS Haerbin Veterinary Research Institute and found that the H7N9 flu virus is a combination of genes from various viruses, a CAAS statement said.

In the H7N9 flu virus, six of its inner genes are from the H9N2 bird flu virus, but origins of both its hemagglutinin (HA) gene and neuraminidase (NA) gene are not clear, the statement said.

Chen Hualan and Li Chengjun, researchers with the institute, headed the study.

They collected 970 samples from live poultry markets and farms in Shanghai and Anhui. Twenty of the samples from the markets were positive and all samples from poultry farms were negative.

Further work should be carried out to detect H7N9 bird flu virus to explore its sources and transmission channels, Chen said.

The research was published in the latest English version of Chinese Science Bulletin, which is sponsored by Chinese Academy of Sciences and National Natural Science Foundation of China.

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