Bidirectional movement of emerging H5N8 avian influenza viruses between Europe and Asia via migratory birds since early 2020

GG Zhang, BY Li, J Raghwani, B Vrancken, R Jia, SC Hill, G Fournie, Yanchao Cheng, QQ Yang, YX Wang, ZM Wang, L Dong, OG Pybus*, HY Tian*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Migratory birds play a critical role in the rapid spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N8 virus clade 2.3.4.4 across Eurasia. Elucidating the timing and pattern of virus transmission is essential therefore for understanding the spatial dissemination of these viruses. In this study, we surveyed >27,000 wild birds in China, tracked the year-round migration patterns of 20 bird species across China since 2006, and generated new HPAI H5N8 virus genomic data. Using this new data set, we investigated the seasonal transmission dynamics of HPAI H5N8 viruses across Eurasia. We found that introductions of HPAI H5N8 viruses to different Eurasian regions were associated with the seasonal migration of wild birds. Moreover, we report a backflow of HPAI H5N8 virus lineages from Europe to Asia, suggesting that Europe acts as both a source and a sink in the global HPAI virus transmission network.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular Biology and Evolution
Volume40
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jan 2023
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Highly pathogenic avian influenza
  • Intercontinental disseminations
  • Migratory birds
  • Satellite tracking
  • ITC-CV

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