Ahead of Print -Novel Eurasian Highly Pathogenic Influenza A H5 Viruses in Wild Birds, Washington, USA, 2014 - Volume 21, Number 5—May 2015 - Emerging Infectious Disease journal - CDC
Volume 21, Number 5—May 2015
Novel Eurasian Highly Pathogenic Influenza A H5 Viruses in Wild Birds, Washington, USA, 2014
The novel Eurasian lineage clade 22.214.171.124 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) A(H5N8) virus (http://www.who.int/influenza/gisrs_laboratory/h5_nomenclature_clade2344/en/) spread rapidly and globally during 2014, substantially affecting poultry populations. The first outbreaks were reported during January 2014 in chickens and domestic ducks in South Korea and subsequently in China and Japan (1–4), reaching Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom by November 2014 and Italy in early December 2014 (5). Also in November 2014, a novel HPAI H5N2 virus was reported in outbreaks on chicken and turkey farms in Fraser Valley, British Columbia, Canada (5). This H5N2 influenza virus is a reassortant that contains the Eurasian clade 126.96.36.199 H5 plus 4 other Eurasian genes (polymerase acidic protein subunit, matrix protein, polymerase basic protein subunit [PB] 2, nonstructural protein) and 3 North American wild bird lineage genes (neuraminidase [NA], nucleoprotein, PB1) (5). Taiwan has recently reported novel reassortants of the H5 clade 188.8.131.52 with other Eurasian viruses (H5N2, H5N3).
The appearance of highly similar Eurasian H5N8 viruses in Asia, Europe, and now the United States suggests that this novel reassortant may be well adapted to certain waterfowl species, enabling it to survive long migrations (6). These appearances also represent a major change in Eurasian H5 virus circulation. After the reported spread of HPAI H5N1 virus in Asia, a large, interagency avian influenza virus (AIV) surveillance effort was implemented throughout the United States during April 2006–March 2011 (7). Of nearly 500,000 wild bird samples tested, none harbored Eurasian subtype H5 AIV. The overall prevalence of AIV was ≈11%, and most viruses (86%) were detected in dabbling ducks (family Anatidae) (8). Although H5N8 subtype viruses have been detected previously in the United States, all have been low pathogenicity AIV of North American wild bird lineage.
We acknowledge the dedicated staff at our respective institutions, who ensured timely field support, rapid response, and prompt and accurate laboratory testing; in particular, Renee Long, Katy Griffin, Jeffery Messer, Karin McMullen, Amber Itle, and Thomas Gilliom.
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Suggested citation for this article: Ip HS, Torchetti MK, Crespo R, Kohrs P, DeBruyn P, Mansfield KG, et al. Novel Eurasian highly pathogenic influenza A H5 viruses in wild birds, Washington, USA, 2014. Emerg Infect Dis. 2015 May [date cited]. http://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid2105.142020
1These first authors contributed equally to this article.