Highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 Clade 18.104.22.168c virus in migratory birds, 2014–2015
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A novel Clade 22.214.171.124c H5N1 reassortant virus caused several outbreaks in wild birds in some regions of China from late 2014 to 2015. Based on the genetic and phylogenetic analyses, the viruses possess a stable gene constellation with a Clade 126.96.36.199c HA, a H9N2-derived PB2 gene and the other six genes of Asian H5N1-origin. The Clade 188.8.131.52c H5N1 reassortants displayed a high genetic relationship to a human H5N1 strain (A/Alberta/01/2014). Further analysis showed that similar viruses have been circulating in wild birds in China, Russia, Dubai (Western Asia), Bulgaria and Romania (Europe), as well as domestic poultry in some regions of Africa. The affected areas include the Central Asian, East Asian-Australasian, West Asian-East African, and Black Sea/Mediterranean flyways. These results show that the novel Clade 184.108.40.206c reassortant viruses are circulating worldwide and may have gained a selective advantage in migratory birds, thus posing a serious threat to wild birds and potentially humans.
KeywordsH5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza virus Clade 220.127.116.11c outbreak migratory birds
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