The H5N6 highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses (HPAIVs) have circulated within poultry in China since 2013. Infections of H5N6 in wild birds were reported since 2014. In order to investigate the infection history of H5N6 in wild birds, we conducted a retrospective analysis of H5 positive wild bird samples collected in 2013, the year H5N6 was discovered in poultry. We isolated a new HPAI H5N6 virus from a dead heron collected in 2013. The virus had high identity in all eight gene sequences to those collected from poultry in 2013 (for example, A/chicken/Shenzhen/1845/2013, 99.1%–99.7%). Our findings revealed that H5N6 HPAIVs infected wild birds in southern China since the emergence of H5N6 in poultry in 2013. The co-circulation of H5N6 between wild birds and poultry is very close, and should raise our attention more.
Infection, Genetics and Evolution – Elsevier
Published: Apr 1, 2018
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