Introductions of H7 influenza A virus (IAV) from wild birds into poultry have been documented worldwide, resulting in varying degrees of morbidity and mortality. H7 IAV infection in domestic poultry has served as a source of human infection and disease. We report the detection of H7N9 subtype IAVs in Minnesota (MN) turkey farms during 2009 and 2011. The full genome was sequenced from eight isolates as well as the haemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) gene segments of H7 and N9 virus subtypes for 108 isolates from North American wild birds between 1986 and 2012. Through maximum-likelihood and coalescent phylogenetic analyses, we identified the recent H7 and N9 IAV ancestors of the turkey-origin H7N9 IAVs, estimated the time and geographical origin of the ancestral viruses, and determined the relatedness between the 2009 and 2011 turkey-origin H7N9 IAVs. Analyses supported that the 2009 and 2011 viruses were distantly related genetically, suggesting that the two outbreaks arose from independent introduction events from wild birds. Our findings further supported that the 2011 MN turkey-origin H7N9 virus was closely related to H7N9 IAVs isolated in poultry in Nebraska during the same year. Although the precise origin of the wild-bird donor of the turkey-origin H7N9 IAVs could not be determined, our findings suggested that, for both the NA and HA gene segments, the MN turkey-origin H7N9 viruses were related to viruses circulating in wild birds between 2006 and 2011 in the Mississippi Flyway.
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© 2015 The Authors.