Project description:An understanding of the global migration dynamics of highly pathogenic avian influenza A(H5N1) virus is helpful for surveillance and disease prevention. To characterize the migration network of this virus, we used genetic analysis, which supported a global persistence model in which each of 9 regions acts to some extent as a source. Siberia is the major hub for the dispersal of the virus. Southeast Asia and Africa are major sources of genetically and antigenically novel strains. We found evidence of local persistence of the virus in Southeast Asia and Africa, which is rare for human influenza A viruses. The differences in migration dynamics between avian and human influenza viruses might help with the design of region-specific surveillance efforts and the selection of vaccine candidates.
Project description:Avian influenza virus H9N2 is prevalent in waterfowl and has become endemic in poultry in Asia and the Middle East. H9N2 influenza viruses have served as a reservoir of internal genes for other avian influenza viruses that infect humans, and several cases of human infection by H9N2 influenza viruses have indicated its pandemic potential. Fortunately, an extensive surveillance program enables close monitoring of H9N2 influenza viruses worldwide and has generated a large repository of virus sequences and phylogenetic information. Despite the large quantity of sequences in different databases, very little is known about specific virus isolates and their pathogenesis. Here, we characterize a low-pathogenicity avian influenza virus, A/chicken/Israel/810/2001 (H9N2) (Israel810), which is representative of influenza virus strains that have caused severe morbidity and mortality in poultry farms. We show that under certain circumstances the Israel810 hemagglutinin (HA) can be activated by furin, a hallmark of highly pathogenic avian influenza virus. We demonstrate that Israel810 HA can be cleaved in cells with high levels of furin expression and that a mutation that eliminates a glycosylation site in HA(1) allows the Israel810 HA to gain universal cleavage in cell culture. Pseudoparticles generated from Israel810 HA, or the glycosylation mutant, transduce cells efficiently. In contrast, introduction of a polybasic cleavage site into Israel810 HA leads to pseudoviruses that are compromised for transduction. Our data indicate a mechanism for an H9N2 evolutionary pathway that may allow it to gain virulence in a distinct manner from H5 and H7 influenza viruses.
Project description:Recent demand for increased understanding of avian influenza virus in its natural hosts, together with the development of high-throughput diagnostics, has heralded a new era in wildlife disease surveillance. However, survey design, sampling, and interpretation in the context of host populations still present major challenges. We critically reviewed current surveillance to distill a series of considerations pertinent to avian influenza virus surveillance in wild birds, including consideration of what, when, where, and how many to sample in the context of survey objectives. Recognizing that wildlife disease surveillance is logistically and financially constrained, we discuss pragmatic alternatives for achieving probability-based sampling schemes that capture this host-pathogen system. We recommend hypothesis-driven surveillance through standardized, local surveys that are, in turn, strategically compiled over broad geographic areas. Rethinking the use of existing surveillance infrastructure can thereby greatly enhance our global understanding of avian influenza and other zoonotic diseases.
Project description:We report here the complete genomic sequence of an avian-like H4N8 swine influenza virus containing an H5N1 avian influenza virus segment from swine in southern China. Phylogenetic analyses of the sequences of all eight viral RNA segments demonstrated that these are wholly avian influenza viruses of the Asia lineage. To our knowledge, this is the first report of interspecies transmission of an avian H4N8 influenza virus to domestic pigs under natural conditions.
Project description:During February 2013-March 2015, a total of 602 human cases of low pathogenic avian influenza A(H7N9) were reported; no autochthonous cases were reported outside mainland China. In contrast, since highly pathogenic avian influenza A(H5N1) reemerged during 2003 in China, 784 human cases in 16 countries and poultry outbreaks in 53 countries have been reported. Whether the absence of reported A(H7N9) outside mainland China represents lack of spread or lack of detection remains unclear. We compared epidemiologic and virologic features of A(H5N1) and A(H7N9) and used human and animal influenza surveillance data collected during April 2013-May 2014 from 4 Southeast Asia countries to assess the likelihood that A(H7N9) would have gone undetected during 2014. Surveillance in Vietnam and Cambodia detected human A(H5N1) cases; no A(H7N9) cases were detected in humans or poultry in Southeast Asia. Although we cannot rule out the possible spread of A(H7N9), substantial spread causing severe disease in humans is unlikely.
Project description:Migratory birds have been implicated in the long-range spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) A virus (H5N1) from Asia to Europe and Africa. Although sampling of healthy wild birds representing a large number of species has not identified possible carriers of influenza virus (H5N1) into Europe, surveillance of dead and sick birds has demonstrated mute (Cygnus olor) and whooper (C. cygnus) swans as potential sentinels. Because of concerns that migratory birds could spread H5N1 subtype to the Western Hemisphere and lead to its establishment within free-living avian populations, experimental studies have addressed the susceptibility of several indigenous North American duck and gull species. We examined the susceptibility of Canada geese (Branta canadensis) to HPAI virus (H5N1). Large populations of this species can be found in periagricultural and periurban settings and thus may be of potential epidemiologic importance if H5N1 subtype were to establish itself in North American wild bird populations.
Project description:Preparedness for a possible influenza pandemic caused by highly pathogenic avian influenza A subtype H5N1 has become a global priority. The spread of the virus to Europe and continued human infection in Southeast Asia have heightened pandemic concern. It remains unknown from where the pandemic strain may emerge; current attention is directed at Vietnam, Thailand, and, more recently, Indonesia and China. Here, we report that genetically and antigenically distinct sublineages of H5N1 virus have become established in poultry in different geographical regions of Southeast Asia, indicating the long-term endemicity of the virus, and the isolation of H5N1 virus from apparently healthy migratory birds in southern China. Our data show that H5N1 influenza virus, has continued to spread from its established source in southern China to other regions through transport of poultry and bird migration. The identification of regionally distinct sublineages contributes to the understanding of the mechanism for the perpetuation and spread of H5N1, providing information that is directly relevant to control of the source of infection in poultry. It points to the necessity of surveillance that is geographically broader than previously supposed and that includes H5N1 viruses of greater genetic and antigenic diversity.
Project description:During swine influenza surveillance from 2007 to 2008, 10 H1N1 viruses were isolated and analyzed for their antigenic and phylogenetic properties. Our study revealed the emergence of avian-origin European H1N1 swine influenza virus in China, which highlights the necessity of swine influenza surveillance for potential pandemic preparedness.
Project description:We identified avian influenza virus A (H5N1) infection in a child in Bangladesh in 2008 by routine influenza surveillance. The virus was of the same clade and phylogenetic subgroup as that circulating among poultry during the period. This case illustrates the value of routine surveillance for detection of novel influenza virus.