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Reassortment of Influenza A Viruses in Wild Birds in Alaska before H5 Clade 2.3.4.4 Outbreaks

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  • Reassortment of Influenza A Viruses in Wild Birds in Alaska before H5 Clade 2.3.4.4 Outbreaks

    Source: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/23/4/16-1668_article
    Volume 23, Number 4—April 2017

    Dispatch

    Reassortment of Influenza A Viruses in Wild Birds in Alaska before H5 Clade 2.3.4.4 Outbreaks

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    Nichola J. Hill, Islam T.M. Hussein, Kimberly R. Davis, Eric J. Ma, Timothy J. Spivey, Andrew M. Ramey, Wendy Blay Puryear, Suman R. Das, Rebecca A. Halpin, Xudong Lin, Nadia B. Fedorova, David L. Suarez, Walter M. Boyce, and Jonathan A. Runstadler
    Author affiliations: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA (N.J. Hill, I.T.M. Hussein, K.R. Davis, E.J. Ma, W.B. Puryear, J.A. Runstadler); University of Alaska Fairbanks, Alaska, USA (T.J. Spivey); US Geological Survey, Anchorage, Alaska, USA (T.J. Spivey, A.M. Ramey); Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee, USA (S. Das); J. Craig Venter Institute, Rockville, Maryland, USA (R.A. Halpin, X. Lin, N.B. Fedorova); Department of Agriculture, Athens, Georgia, USA (D.L. Suarez); University of California, Davis, California, USA (W.M. Boyce)
    Cite This Article
    Abstract

    Sampling of mallards in Alaska during September 2014–April 2015 identified low pathogenic avian influenza A virus (subtypes H5N2 and H1N1) that shared ancestry with highly pathogenic reassortant H5N2 and H5N1 viruses. Molecular dating indicated reassortment soon after interhemispheric movement of H5N8 clade 2.3.4.4, suggesting genetic exchange in Alaska or surrounds before outbreaks.


  • #2
    A new paper from an MIT-led team demonstrates that Alaska can offer a significant foothold for Asian flu viruses, enabling them to enter North America.

    Tracking the spread of bird flu
    Asian flu strains can enter North America through Alaska, study finds.
    Anne Trafton | MIT News Office
    March 17, 2017

    A new paper from an MIT-led team demonstrates that Alaska can offer a significant foothold for Asian flu viruses, enabling them to enter North America. The research also shows that the region serves as a fertile breeding ground for new flu strains.

    In 2014 and 2015, an outbreak of H5N8, H5N1, and H5N2 influenza affected poultry farms in North America, resulting in the culling of nearly 50 million chickens and turkeys. The new study finds that an epidemic flu strain, which originated in Southeast Asia, was most likely carried into Alaska by wild migratory birds. In Alaska, the viruses mingled with local flu strains and eventually evolved into the deadly strains that spread south to poultry farms in Washington, Oregon, and California.

    “We think there’s strong evidence that those viruses moved through the Bering strait through wild bird populations and began a process of evolution that ended up with them infecting poultry populations and becoming a big agricultural issue,” says Jonathan Runstadler, an assistant professor of biological engineering and comparative medicine at MIT and the senior author of the study.

    more...
    http://news.mit.edu/2017/tracking-sp...h-america-0317
    "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
    -Nelson Mandela

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