Detection of a #Reassortant #H9N2 #Avian #Influenza Virus with #Intercontinental Gene Segments in a Resident #Australian Chestnut #Teal (Viruses, abstract)

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

Viruses. 2020 Jan 13;12(1). pii: E88. doi: 10.3390/v12010088.

Detection of a Reassortant H9N2 Avian Influenza Virus with Intercontinental Gene Segments in a Resident Australian Chestnut Teal.

Bhatta TR1,2, Chamings A1,2, Vibin J1,2, Klaassen M1,3, Alexandersen S1,2,4.

Author information: 1 Geelong Centre for Emerging Infectious Diseases, Geelong, Victoria 3220, Australia. 2 School of Medicine, Deakin University, Geelong, Victoria 3220, Australia. 3 Centre for Integrative Ecology, Deakin University, Victoria 3220, Australia. 4 Barwon Health, University Hospital Geelong, Geelong, Victoria 3220, Australia.



The present study reports the genetic characterization of a low-pathogenicity H9N2 avian influenza virus, initially from a pool and subsequently from individual faecal samples collected from Chestnut teals (Anas castanea) in southeastern Australia. Phylogenetic analyses of six full gene segments and two partial gene segments obtained from next-generation sequencing showed that this avian influenza virus, A/Chestnut teal/Australia/CT08.18/12952/2018 (H9N2), was a typical, low-pathogenicity, Eurasian aquatic bird lineage H9N2 virus, albeit containing the North American lineage nucleoprotein (NP) gene segment detected previously in Australian wild birds. This is the first report of a H9N2 avian influenza virus in resident wild birds in Australia, and although not in itself a cause of concern, is a clear indication of spillover and likely reassortment of influenza viruses between migratory and resident birds, and an indication that any lineage could potentially be introduced in this way.

KEYWORDS: Chestnut teal; Eurasian lineage; H9N2; avian influenza virus; low pathogenicity; phylogenetic analysis; reassortant

PMID: 31940999 DOI: 10.3390/v12010088

Keywords: Avian Influenza; H9N2; Wild Birds; Reassortant strain; Australia.


Detection and #Isolation of #H9N2 Subtype of #Avian #Influenza Virus in House #Sparrows (Passer domesticus) of Ahvaz, #Iran (Arch Razi Inst., abstract)

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

Arch Razi Inst. 2019 Dec;74(4):439-444. doi: 10.22092/ari.2019.122504.1223. Epub 2019 Dec 1.

Detection and Isolation of H9N2 Subtype of Avian Influenza Virus in House Sparrows (Passer domesticus) of Ahvaz, Iran.

Broomand Z1,1, Mayahi M1, Hosseini H2, Valadbeigi S1.

Author information: 1 Department of avian health and diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Ahvaz, Iran. 2 Department of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Karaj Branch, Islamic Azad University, Alborz, Iran.



Avian influenza (AI) is an acute infectious disease with worldwide significance causing extensive economic losses in the poultry industry. Avian influenza viruses (AIVs) belong to the family Orthomyxoviridae and categorized in the genus influenza virus A. These viruses have been isolated from more than 100 species of free-living birds. Migratory birds are considered as reservoirs for AIVs and are the major agents responsible for global outbreaks. The Passeriformes are found in most parts of the world and cover a variety of habitats from rural to urban areas. House sparrows are members of the family Passeridae and due to their free flying, are strongly associated with seabirds, indigenous, and industrial poultry. The aim of this study was to determine the role of house sparrows in AIV (H9N2) circulation in the Ahvaz region. The intestinal and tracheal samples were taken from 200 sparrows around Ahvaz during 2017. Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was performed using specific primers in order to detect M and H9 genes of AIVs. The positive specimens in the PCR for the M gene were inoculated into 9-11-day-old embryonated chicken eggs via the allantoic fluid. The results showed that 11 out of 200 samples were positive for the two genes of M and H9. According to the findings of the present study, house sparrows are infected with H9N2 and pose a threat to commercial poultry. These birds may play a significant role in the transmission of AIV between wildlife and domestic animals. Therefore, this issue is important to be considered in preventive measurements.

Copyright © 2019, Archives of Razi Institute. Published by Kowsar.

KEYWORDS: Ahvaz; Avian influenza; House sparrows; Iran; Molecular detection

PMID: 31939262 DOI: 10.22092/ari.2019.122504.1223

Keywords: Avian Influenza; H9N2; Wild Birds; Poultry; Iran.


A quantitative #comparison of #WNV #incidence from 2013 to 2018 in Emilia-Romagna, #Italy (PLOS Negl Trop Dis., abstract)

[Source: PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]


A quantitative comparison of West Nile virus incidence from 2013 to 2018 in Emilia-Romagna, Italy

Giovanni Marini , Mattia Calzolari, Paola Angelini, Romeo Bellini, Silvia Bellini, Luca Bolzoni, Deborah Torri, Francesco Defilippo, Ilaria Dorigatti, Birgit Nikolay, Andrea Pugliese, Roberto Rosà, Marco Tamba


Published: January 2, 2020 / DOI:




West Nile virus (WNV) transmission was much greater in 2018 than in previous seasons in Europe. Focusing on Emilia-Romagna region (northern Italy), we analyzed detailed entomological and epidemiological data collected in 2013–2018 to quantitatively assess environmental drivers of transmission and explore hypotheses to better understand why the 2018 epidemiological season was substantially different than the previous seasons. In particular, in 2018 WNV was detected at least two weeks before the observed circulation in 2013–2017 and in a larger number of mosquito pools. Transmission resulted in 100 neuroinvasive human cases in the region, more than the total number of cases recorded between 2013 and 2017.


We used temperature-driven mathematical models calibrated through a Bayesian approach to simulate mosquito population dynamics and WNV infection rates in the avian population. We then estimated the human transmission risk as the probability, for a person living in the study area, of being bitten by an infectious mosquito in a given week. Finally, we translated such risk into reported WNV human infections.

Principal findings

The estimated prevalence of WNV in the mosquito and avian populations were significantly higher in 2018 with respect to 2013–2017 seasons, especially in the eastern part of the region. Furthermore, peak avian prevalence was estimated to have occurred earlier, corresponding to a steeper decline towards the end of summer. The high mosquito prevalence resulted in a much greater predicted risk for human transmission in 2018, which was estimated to be up to eight times higher than previous seasons. We hypothesized, on the basis of our modelling results, that such greater WNV circulation might be partially explained by exceptionally high spring temperatures, which have likely helped to amplify WNV transmission at the beginning of the 2018 season.


Author summary

West Nile virus (WNV) is one of the most recent emerging mosquito-borne diseases in Europe and North America. While most human infections are asymptomatic, about 1% of them can result in severe neurological diseases which might be fatal. WNV transmission was unusually greater in 2018 than in previous years in many European countries, resulting in a large number of human infections. Focusing on Emilia-Romagna region (Italy), we developed an epidemiological model informed by entomological data; through that we found that exceptionally high spring temperatures might have contributed at amplifying WNV transmission at the beginning of the season, causing greater WNV prevalence in mosquito and avian populations during the summer, which resulted in a higher estimated risk for human transmission. Thus, weather anomalies at the beginning of the mosquito breeding season, which are likely to become more common under the projected scenarios of climate change, might act as an early warning signal for public health authorities, enabling them to design efficient surveillance and prevention strategies.


Citation: Marini G, Calzolari M, Angelini P, Bellini R, Bellini S, Bolzoni L, et al. (2020) A quantitative comparison of West Nile virus incidence from 2013 to 2018 in Emilia-Romagna, Italy. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 14(1): e0007953.

Editor: Waleed Saleh Al-Salem, Saudi Ministry of Health, SAUDI ARABIA

Received: July 10, 2019; Accepted: November 20, 2019; Published: January 2, 2020

Copyright: © 2020 Marini 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 relevant data are within the manuscript and its Supporting Information files.

Funding: Data used in this study was collected in the frame of “Regional Surveillance of Arboviral Diseases” financed by the Emilia-Romagna Region. I.D. acknowledges research funding from the Imperial College Junior Research Fellowship and joint Centre funding from the UK Medical Research Council and Department for International Development. 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: WNV; Wild Birds; Mosquitoes; Global Warming; Italy.


Quantifying the #spatial #risk of #Avian #Influenza introduction into #British #poultry by #wildbirds (Sci Rep., abstract)

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

Sci Rep. 2019 Dec 27;9(1):19973. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-56165-9.

Quantifying the spatial risk of Avian Influenza introduction into British poultry by wild birds.

Hill A1,2, Gillings S3, Berriman A4, Brouwer A4, Breed AC4,5,6, Snow L4, Ashton A4, Byrne C4, Irvine RM4.

Author information: 1 Animal and Plant Health Agency, New Haw, KT15 3NB, United Kingdom. 2 University of Surrey, Guildford, UK. 3 British Trust for Ornithology, Thetford, IP24 2PU, United Kingdom. 4 Animal and Plant Health Agency, New Haw, KT15 3NB, United Kingdom. 5 School of Veterinary Science, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. 6 Epidemiology and One Health Section, Department of Agriculture, Canberra, Australia.



The transmission of pathogens across the interface between wildlife and livestock presents a challenge to the development of effective surveillance and control measures. Wild birds, especially waterbirds such as the Anseriformes and Charadriiformes are considered to be the natural hosts of Avian Influenza (AI), and are presumed to pose one of the most likely vectors for incursion of AI into European poultry flocks. We have developed a generic quantitative risk map, derived from the classical epidemiological risk equation, to describe the relative, spatial risk of disease incursion into poultry flocks via wild birds. We then assessed the risk for AI incursion into British flocks. The risk map suggests that the majority of AI incursion risk is highly clustered within certain areas of Britain, including in the east, the south west and the coastal north-west of England. The clustering of high risk areas concentrates total risk in a relatively small land area; the top 33% of cells contribute over 80% of total incursion risk. This suggests that targeted risk-based sampling in a relatively small geographical area could be a much more effective and cost-efficient approach than representative sampling. The generic nature of the risk map method, allows rapid updating and application to other diseases transmissible between wild birds and poultry.

PMID: 31882592 DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-56165-9

Keywords: Avian Influenza; Wild Birds; Poultry; UK.


#Influenza A/ #H4N2 #mallard #infection experiments further indicate #zanamivir as less prone to induce #environmental #resistance development than #oseltamivir (J Gen Virol., abstract)

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

J Gen Virol. 2019 Dec 19. doi: 10.1099/jgv.0.001369. [Epub ahead of print]

Influenza A/H4N2 mallard infection experiments further indicate zanamivir as less prone to induce environmental resistance development than oseltamivir.

Tepper V1,2, Nykvist M2, Gillman A3, Skog E3, Wille M4,2, Lindström HS5, Tang C6, Lindberg RH6, Lundkvist Å2, Järhult JD3.

Author information: 1 Institute of Environmental Engineering, ETH Zürich, Switzerland. 2 Zoonosis Science Center, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden. 3 Zoonosis Science Center, Department of Medical Sciences, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden. 4 Present address: WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza, The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, Melbourne, Australia. 5 Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden. 6 Department of Chemistry, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.



Neuraminidase inhibitors (NAIs) are the gold standard treatment for influenza A virus (IAV). Oseltamivir is mostly used, followed by zanamivir (ZA). NAIs are not readily degraded in conventional wastewater treatment plants and can be detected in aquatic environments. Waterfowl are natural IAV hosts and replicating IAVs could thus be exposed to NAIs in the environment and develop resistance. Avian IAVs form the genetic basis for new human IAVs, and a resistant IAV with pandemic potential poses a serious public health threat, as NAIs constitute a pandemic preparedness cornerstone. Resistance development in waterfowl IAVs exposed to NAIs in the water environment has previously been investigated in an in vivo mallard model and resistance development was demonstrated in several avian IAVs after the exposure of infected ducks to oseltamivir, and in an H1N1 IAV after exposure to ZA. The N1 and N2 types of IAVs have different characteristics and resistance mutations, and so the present study investigated the exposure of an N2-type IAV (H4N2) in infected mallards to 1, 10 and 100 µg l-1 of ZA in the water environment. Two neuraminidase substitutions emerged, H274N (ZA IC50 increased 5.5-fold) and E119G (ZA IC50 increased 110-fold) at 10 and 100 µg l-1 of ZA, respectively. Reversion towards wild-type was observed for both substitutions in experiments with removed drug pressure, indicating reduced fitness of both resistant viruses. These results corroborate previous findings that the development of resistance to ZA in the environment seems less likely to occur than the development of resistance to oseltamivir, adding information that is useful in planning for prudent drug use and pandemic preparedness.

KEYWORDS: H4N2; LPAI; antiviral resistance; avian influenza; drug residues; environment; influenza A; neuraminidase inhibitor; pandemic preparedness; zanamivir

PMID: 31855133 DOI: 10.1099/jgv.0.001369

Keywords: Avian Influenza; Antivirals; Drugs Resistance; H1N1pdm09; H4N2; Wild Birds.


Emperor #geese (Anser canagicus) are exposed to a #diversity of #influenza A viruses, are infected during the non-breeding period and contribute to #intercontinental viral dispersal (Transbound Emerg Dis., abstract)

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

Transbound Emerg Dis. 2019 Sep;66(5):1958-1970. doi: 10.1111/tbed.13226. Epub 2019 Jun 6.

Emperor geese (Anser canagicus) are exposed to a diversity of influenza A viruses, are infected during the non-breeding period and contribute to intercontinental viral dispersal.

Ramey AM1, Uher-Koch BD1, Reeves AB1, Schmutz JA1, Poulson RL2, Stallknecht DE2.

Author information: 1 U.S. Geological Survey Alaska Science Center, Anchorage, Alaska. 2 Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study, Department of Population Health, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia.



Emperor geese (Anser canagicus) are endemic to coastal areas within Beringia and have previously been found to have antibodies to or to be infected with influenza A viruses (IAVs) in Alaska. In this study, we use virological, serological and tracking data to further elucidate the role of emperor geese in the ecology of IAVs in Beringia during the non-breeding period. Specifically, we assess evidence for: (a) active IAV infection during spring staging, autumn staging and wintering periods; (b) infection with novel Eurasian-origin or interhemispheric reassortant viruses; (c) contemporary movement of geese between East Asia and North America; (d) previous exposure to viruses of 14 haemagglutinin subtypes, including Eurasian lineage highly pathogenic (HP) H5 IAVs; and (e) subtype-specific antibody seroconversion and seroreversion. Emperor geese were found to shed IAVs, including interhemispheric reassortant viruses, throughout the non-breeding period; migrate between Alaska and the Russian Far East prior to and following remigial moult; have antibodies reactive to a diversity of IAVs including, in a few instances, Eurasian lineage HP H5 IAVs; and exhibit relatively broad and stable patterns of population immunity among breeding females. Results of this study suggest that emperor geese may play an important role in the maintenance and dispersal of IAVs within Beringia during the non-breeding period and provide information that may be used to further optimize surveillance activities focused on the early detection of Eurasian-origin IAVs in North America.

© 2019 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

KEYWORDS: Anser canagicus ; Alaska; Russia; emperor geese; influenza; virus

PMID: 31077545 DOI: 10.1111/tbed.13226 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Keywords: Avian Influenza; Wild Birds.


#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.