#Outbreaks of Clade #H5N8 highly pathogenic #avian #influenza in 2018 in the northern regions of South Africa [#ZA] were unrelated to those of 2017 (Transbound Emerg Dis., abstract)

[Source: US National Library of Medicine, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Transbound Emerg Dis. 2019 Dec 13. doi: 10.1111/tbed.13448. [Epub ahead of print]

Outbreaks of Clade H5N8 highly pathogenic avian influenza in 2018 in the northern regions of South Africa were unrelated to those of 2017.

Abolnik C1.

Author information: 1 Department of Production Animal Studies, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria, Old Soutpan Road, Onderstepoort, 0110, South Africa.



Asian-origin H5N8 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) viruses of the H5 Goose/Guangdong/96 lineage, clade group B reached South Africa by June 2017. By the end of that year, 5.4 million layers and broiler chickens died or were culled, with total losses in the poultry industry estimated at US$ 140 million, and thousands of exotic birds in zoological collections, endangered endemic species and backyard poultry and pet birds also perished. The 2017 H5N8 HPAI outbreaks were characterised by two distinct spatial clusters, each associated with specific reassortant viral genotypes. Genotypes 1, 2, 3 and 5 were restricted to the northern regions, spanning the provinces of Limpopo, Gauteng, North West, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal and Free State. The second, much larger cluster of outbreaks was in the south, in the Western and Eastern Cape provinces, where in 2017 and 2018 outbreaks were caused solely by genotype 4. The last confirmed case of H5N8 HPAI in the northern region in 2017 was in early October, and the viruses seemed to disappear over the summer. However, starting in mid-February 2018, H5N8 HPAI outbreaks resurged in the north. Viruses from two of the eight outbreaks were sequenced, one from an outbreak in quails (Coturnix japonica) in the North West Province, and another from commercial pullets in the Gauteng province. Phylogenetic analysis identified the viruses as a distinct sixth genotype that was most likely a new introduction to South Africa in early 2018.

© 2019 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

KEYWORDS: H5N8; Highly pathogenic avian influenza; poultry; quail; wild birds

PMID: 31833671 DOI: 10.1111/tbed.13448

Keywords: Avian Influenza; H5N8; Reassortant strain; Poultry; Wild Birds; South Africa.


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Giuseppe Michieli

I am an Italian blogger, active since 2005 with main focus on emerging infectious diseases such as avian influenza, SARS, antibiotics resistance, and many other global Health issues. Other fields of interest are: climate change, global warming, geological and biological sciences. My activity consists mainly in collection and analysis of news, public services updates, confronting sources and making decision about what are the 'signals' of an impending crisis (an outbreak, for example). When a signal is detected, I follow traces during the entire course of an event. I started in 2005 my blog ''A TIME'S MEMORY'', now with more than 40,000 posts and 3 millions of web interactions. Subsequently I added an Italian Language blog, then discontinued because of very low traffic and interest. I contributed for seven years to a public forum (FluTrackers.com) in the midst of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa in 2014, I left the site to continue alone my data tracking job.