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Molecular characterisation of an avian influenza (H5N8) outbreak in backyard flocks in Al Ahsa, Eastern Saudi Arabia, 2017-2018

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  • Molecular characterisation of an avian influenza (H5N8) outbreak in backyard flocks in Al Ahsa, Eastern Saudi Arabia, 2017-2018


    Vet Rec Open. 2019 Dec 1;6(1):e000362. doi: 10.1136/vetreco-2019-000362. eCollection 2019. Molecular characterisation of an avian influenza (H5N8) outbreak in backyard flocks in Al Ahsa, Eastern Saudi Arabia, 2017-2018.

    Hemida MG1,2, Chu D3, Abdelaziz A4, Alnaeem A5, Chan SMS3, Peiris M3.
    Author information

    1 Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, College of Veterinary Medicine, King Faisal University, Al-Hufuf, Saudi Arabia. 2 Department of Virology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Kafrelsheikh University, Kafr el-Sheikh, Egypt. 3 School of Public Health, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong. 4 Veterinary Education Hospital, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Zagazig University, Zagazig, Egypt. 5 College of Veterinary Medicine, King Faisal University, Al-Hasa, Saudi Arabia.

    Abstract

    Background:

    Avian influenza viruses are still causing major concern not only to the poultry industry but also to human health across the globe. The live poultry markets and the small-scale local breeding of various species of birds in backyards are still playing important roles in the sustainability of most virulent influenza viruses, especially H5N8.
    Methods:

    The authors investigated an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N8 in backyard flocks in Al Ahsa, Eastern Saudi Arabia that occurred in 2017-2018.
    Results:

    A range of poultry including chickens, ostriches, ducks, pigeons and turkeys were clinically affected. Phylogenetic analysis suggested that this was a common source outbreak caused by a virus closely related to H5N8 viruses causing outbreaks elsewhere in Saudi Arabia in early 2018.
    Conclusions:

    Small backyard flocks are still contributing to the epidemiology and transmission of H5N8.
    British Veterinary Association 2019. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. Published by BMJ.


    KEYWORDS:

    H5N8; Saudi Arabia; backyards; eastern region; highly pathogenic avian influenza; influenza; outbreak; phylogenetic analysis

    PMID: 31897300 PMCID: PMC6924712 DOI: 10.1136/vetreco-2019-000362
    Free PMC Article

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