A cross-sectional study of avian influenza A virus in Myanmar live bird markets: Detection of a newly introduced H9N2?

Laura K. Borkenhagen, Poe Poe Aung, Thura Htay, Zaw Win Thein, Ommar Swe Tin, Thet Su Mon, Win Myint, Emily S. Bailey, Timothy G. Wanninger, Ahmed M. Kandeil, Richard J. Webby, Gregory C. Gray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Zoonotic influenza surveillance in Myanmar is sparse, despite the risks of introduction of such viruses from neighboring countries that could impact the poultry industry and lead to spillover to humans. Methods: In July and August 2019, our multi-institutional partnership conducted a One Health-oriented, cross-sectional surveillance (weekly for 3 weeks) for influenza A and influenza D viruses at the three largest live bird markets in Yangon, Myanmar. Results: The 27 bioaerosols, 90 bird cage swabs, 90 bird oropharyngeals, and 90 human nasopharyngeal samples yielded molecular influenza A detections in 8 bioaerosols (30.0%), 16 bird cages (17.8%), 15 bird oropharyngeals (16.7%), and 1 human nasopharyngeal (1.1%) samples. No influenza D was detected. Seven of the influenza A virus detections were found to be subtype A/H9N2, and one human nasopharyngeal sample was found to be subtype A/H1pdm. Among all IAV-positive samples, three of the A/H9N2-positive samples yielded live viruses from egg culture and their whole genome sequences revealing they belonged to the G9/Y280 lineage of A/H9N2 viruses. Phylogenetic analyses showed that these A/H9N2 sequences clustered separately from A/H9N2 viruses that were previously detected in Myanmar, supporting the notion that A/H9N2 viruses similar to those seen in wider Southeast Asia may have been introduced to Myanmar on multiple occasions. Conclusions: These findings call for increased surveillance efforts in Myanmar to monitor for the introduction of novel influenza viruses in poultry, as well as possible reassortment and zoonotic virus transmission.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere13111
JournalInfluenza and other respiratory viruses
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2023


  • H9N2
  • Myanmar
  • One Health
  • influenza virus
  • live bird market

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'A cross-sectional study of avian influenza A virus in Myanmar live bird markets: Detection of a newly introduced H9N2?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this