Ahead of Print -Novel Reassortant Influenza A(H5N8) Viruses among Inoculated Domestic and Wild Ducks, South Korea, 2014 - Volume 21, Number 2—February 2015 - Emerging Infectious Disease journal - CDC
Volume 21, Number 2—February 2015
Novel Reassortant Influenza A(H5N8) Viruses among Inoculated Domestic and Wild Ducks, South Korea, 2014
Wild birds in orders Anseriformes (ducks, geese, swans) and Charadriiformes (gulls, terns, shore birds) are the natural reservoirs of avian influenza viruses (1,2). In wild aquatic birds, low pathogenicity avian influenza viruses are in a state of evolutionary equilibrium, and infected hosts usually show no signs of disease. However, a Qinghai-like H5N1 virus caused an outbreak in migratory waterfowl during 2005 before spreading from Asia to Europe and Africa (3,4). The outbreak gave rise to concerns that infections of wild birds with the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus subtype H5N1, which causes mild or no clinical signs in these birds, could result in transmission of the virus over long distances (5,6).
As was the case in other wild birds, HPAI H5N1viruses were not known to be pathogenic in domestic ducks before 2002 (7–9), but since then, HPAI H5N1 viruses that are pathogenic in ducks have been isolated in many countries (3,5,10,11). In South Korea, 4 outbreaks of HPAI H5N1have occurred among poultry (mainly chickens and domestic ducks) and wild birds. Before 2010, H5N1 HPAI viruses among birds were detected mostly in poultry (chickens, domestic ducks, and quail), with the single exception of 1 magpie in 2004. By contrast, during 2010–2011, many cases occurred in various wild birds such as the Eurasian eagle owl, mandarin duck, Baikal teal duck, mallard duck, whooper swan, spot-billed duck, sparrow hawk, common kestrel, and white-fronted goose, as well as in poultry. Although all viruses in these outbreaks were highly pathogenic in chickens, the pathogenicity of these viruses varied among domestic ducks; the pathogenicity was 0%–25% during 2003–2004 (clade 2.5, H5N1), 0% during 2006–2007 (clade 2.2, H5N1), 50%–100% during 2008 (clade 126.96.36.199, H5N1), and 50%–100% during 2010–2011 (clade 188.8.131.52, H5N1) (5,12–15).
This work was supported by grants from the Animal, Plant and Quarantine Agency (B–1541767–2013–15–01) and from the Korea Institute of Planning and Evaluation for Technology in Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (313016031SB010), Republic of Korea.
Dr. Kang is a microbiologist at the Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency, South Korea. Her research interests are focused on surveillance, genetics, and pathogenesis of avian influenza.
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Suggested citation for this article: Kang HM, Lee EK, Song BM, Jeong J, Choi JG, et al. Novel reassortant influenza A(H5N8) viruses among domestic and wild ducks, South Korea, 2014. Emerg Infect Dis. 2015 Feb [date cited]. http://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid2102.141268