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Influenza A(H5N8) Virus Similar to Strain in Korea Causing Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in Germany - Volume 21, Number 5—May 2015 - Emerging Infectious Disease journal - CDC

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Influenza A(H5N8) Virus Similar to Strain in Korea Causing Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in Germany - Volume 21, Number 5—May 2015 - Emerging Infectious Disease journal - CDC

Volume 21, Number 5—May 2015


Influenza A(H5N8) Virus Similar to Strain in Korea Causing Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in Germany

Timm HarderComments to Author , Sebastian Maurer-Stroh, Anne Pohlmann, Elke Starick, Detlef Höreth-Böntgen, Karin Albrecht, Gunter Pannwitz, Jens Teifke, Vithiagaran Gunalan, Raphael T.C. Lee, Carola Sauter-Louis, Timo Homeier, Christoph Staubach, Carola Wolf, Günter Strebelow, Dirk Höper, Christian Grund, Franz J. Conraths, Thomas C. Mettenleiter, and Martin Beer
Author affiliations: Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, Insel Riems, Germany (T. Harder, A. Pohlmann, E. Starick, D. Höreth-Böntgen, J. Teifke, C. Sauter-Louis, T. Homeier, C. Staubach, G. Strebelow, D. Höper, C. Grund, F.J. Conraths, T.C. Mettenleiter, M. Beer)Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (S. Maurer-Stroh); Ministry of Health, Singapore (S. Maurer-Stroh)Agency for Science, Technology and Research, Singapore (S. Maurer-Stroh, V. Gunalan, R.T.C. Lee)County Veterinary Office, Anklam, Germany (K. Albrecht, G. Pannwitz)Agency for Agriculture, Food Security and Fisheries of the German Federal State of Mecklenburg–Western Pomeranio, Rostock, Germany (C. Wolf)


Highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N8) virus, like the recently described H5N8 strain from Korea, was detected in November 2014 in farmed turkeys and in a healthy common teal (Anas crecca) in northeastern Germany. Infected wild birds possibly introduced this virus.
Reassortant highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) viruses of subtype H5N8 were introduced into South Korea in early 2014, possibly by virus-infected wild birds. The virus, which was spread widely by wild birds and within farming networks, caused major outbreaks of HPAI in poultry, was associated with deaths in aquatic wild birds, and spread to Japan (14). Related viruses were detected in China (57), but before early November 2014, the viruses had been confined to eastern Asia. This study sought to confirm the etiology of a major outbreak of HPAI (H5N8) on a turkey farm in northeastern Germany and to determine the virus’s possible origin.
Dr. Harder is head of the Reference Laboratory foe Avian Influenza of the World Organisation for Animal Health and of the German National Reference Laboratory for Avian Influenza at Friedrich-Loeffler-Institute. His work is dedicated to diagnosis and applied research of animal influenza viruses.


We gratefully acknowledge the professional aid of veterinarians and field workers and technical laboratory assistance from Diana Wessler, Patrick Zitzow, Sarah Westerhold, and Cornelia Illing. Our sincere thanks also go to colleagues releasing sequences in the GISAID database. A detailed overview of sequences used is provided in the Technical Appendix.
The study has been funded in part by the EU Horizon 2020 program (European Commission Grant Agreement No. 643476 “COMPARE”).


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Technical Appendix

Suggested citation for this article: Harder T, Maurer-Stroh S, Pohlmann A, Starick E, Höreth-Böntgen D, Albrecht A, et al. Influenza A(H5N8) virus similar to strain in Korea causing highly pathogenic avian influenza in Germany. Emerg Infect Dis. 2015 May [date cited].http://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid2015.141897
DOI: 10.3201/eid2105.141897

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