While H2N2 viruses have been sporadically isolated from wild and domestic birds, H2N2 viruses have not been detected among human populations since 1968. Should H2N2 viruses adapt to domestic poultry they may pose a risk of infection to people, as most anyone born after 1968 would likely be susceptible to their infection. We report the isolation of a novel influenza A virus (H2N2) cultured in 2013 from a healthy domestic duck at a live poultry market in Wuxi City, China. Sequence data revealed that the novel H2N2 virus was similar to Eurasian avian lineage avian influenza viruses, the virus had been circulating for ≥ two years among poultry, had an increase in α2,6 binding affinity, and was not highly pathogenic. Approximately 9% of 100 healthy chickens sampled from the same area had elevated antibodies against the H2 antigen. Fortunately, there was sparse serological evidence that the virus was infecting poultry workers or had adapted to infect other mammals. These findings suggest that a novel H2N2 virus has been circulating among domestic poultry in Wuxi City, China and has some has increased human receptor affinity. It seems wise to conduct better surveillance for novel influenza viruses at Chinese live bird markets.
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