[Source: PLoS One, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]
OPEN ACCESS / PEER-REVIEWED / RESEARCH ARTICLE
Phylogeographic evidence for the inter- and intracontinental dissemination of avian influenza viruses via migration flyways
Junki Mine, Yuko Uchida, Kirill Sharshov, Ivan Sobolev, Alexander Shestopalov, Takehiko Saito
Published: June 26, 2019 / DOI: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0218506
Genetically related highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses (HPAIVs) of H5N6 subtype caused outbreaks simultaneously in East Asia and Europe—geographically distinct regions—during winter 2017–2018. This situation prompted us to consider whether the application of phylogeographic analysis to a particular gene segment of AIVs could provide clues for understanding how AIV had been disseminated across the continent. Here, the N6 NA genes of influenza viruses isolated across the world were subjected to phylogeographic analysis to illustrate the inter- and intracontinental dissemination of AIVs. Those isolated in East Asia during winter and in Mongolia/Siberia during summer were comingled within particular clades of the phylogeographic tree. For AIVs in one clade, their dissemination in eastern Eurasia extended from Yakutia, Russia, in the north to East Asia in the south. AIVs in western Asia, Europe, and Mongolia were also comingled within other clades, indicating that Mongolia/Siberia plays an important role in the dissemination of AIVs across the Eurasian continent. Mongolia/Siberia may therefore have played a role in the simultaneous outbreaks of H5N6 HPAIVs in Europe and East Asia during the winter of 2017–2018. In addition to the long-distance intracontinental disseminations described above, intercontinental disseminations of AIVs between Eurasia and Africa and between Eurasia and North America were also observed. Integrating these results and known migration flyways suggested that the migration of wild birds and the overlap of flyways, such as that observed in Mongolia/Siberia and along the Alaskan Peninsula, contributed to the long-distance intra- and intercontinental dissemination of AIVs. These findings highlight the importance of understanding the movement of migratory birds and the dynamics of AIVs in breeding areas—especially where several migration flyways overlap—in forecasting outbreaks caused by HPAIVs.
Citation: Mine J, Uchida Y, Sharshov K, Sobolev I, Shestopalov A, Saito T (2019) Phylogeographic evidence for the inter- and intracontinental dissemination of avian influenza viruses via migration flyways. PLoS ONE 14(6): e0218506. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0218506
Editor: Charles J. Russell, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, UNITED STATES
Received: April 12, 2019; Accepted: June 4, 2019; Published: June 26, 2019
Copyright: © 2019 Mine et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Data Availability: All sequence data are available from the GISAID database (accession numbers are listed in S1 Table).
Funding: This study was supported in part by a research project grant from the “Pilot program of international collaborative research (Collaborative research based on a joint call with Russia)” under “Commissioned projects for promotion of strategic international collaborative research,” a grant from the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Research Council (JP) and a grant from the Russian Scientific Foundation (project # 17-44-07001). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.
Keywords: Avian Influenza; H5N6; Wild Birds.