Monday, April 27, 2015

Russia Reports H5N1 In Migratory Birds

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Location Of Astrakhan Oblast in Global Flyway

 

# 9980

 

While North America has taken center stage in Avian flu reporting these past few weeks we know that various strains of these viruses continue to spread around the globe.  Egypt continues to deal with an unprecedented outbreak of H5N1 – in both humans and in poultry – and reports continue to filter out of South Korea and Taiwan on their battles against the H5N8 virus and its reassortants.


In recent weeks we’ve seen Niger and Burkina Faso battling the H5N1 virus, while Vietnam and China continue to deal with outbreaks of H5N1 and and H5N6.

 

And earlier this year we saw multiple reports of H5N1 in migratory birds  in Eastern Europe (see OIE: H5N1 Kills 21 Pelicans In Bulgaria), which is part of the Black Sea / Mediterranean Flyway. 

 

With summer on the way, birds that were wintering in Southern Europe or Africa are now headed north to their summer breeding grounds, and so it is not terribly surprising that we are beginning to see reports of H5N1 in migratory birds along that route.

 

First a translated media report (one of many on the news wires overnight), followed by the official statement from Russia’s Rosselkhoznadzor (Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance), which carried a small item yesterday announcing the detection of the H5N1 avian virus.


Curiously, neither report indicates when these samples were taken.  First this, from Rio Novosti.


The bird flu virus was recorded in the Astrakhan region

08:35 27.04.2015551

Also, the agency added that the study isolates showed that they belong to the Asian genetic lineage HPAI virus and proximity to isolates of influenza A virus subtype H5N1 bird isolated in the Altai region in 2014, as well as subtypes of the same virus isolated in Vietnam and China in 2012-2014.

MOSCOW, April 27 - RIA Novosti / Prime. Rosselkhoznadzor revealed genome of influenza A virus subtype H5N1 bird in the territory Ikryaninskiy region Astrakhan region, said the Russian authorities.

"Subordinate to the Rosselkhoznadzor Federal Centre for Animal Health in research within the federal epizootic monitoring in samples of biological material selected from the Dalmatian pelicans in the territory Ikryaninskiy region Astrakhan region, identified the gene of influenza A virus subtype H5N1 bird" - said in a statement.

Also, the agency added that the study isolates showed that they belong to the Asian genetic lineage HPAI virus and proximity to isolates of influenza A virus subtype H5N1 bird isolated in the Altai region in 2014, as well as subtypes of the same virus isolated in Vietnam and China in 2012-2014.

Pathogenic avian influenza virus H5N1, which emerged in 2003-2005, is widely circulated among birds. It is dangerous to humans because people have no immunity to it.

 

  And this statement from he official Rosselkhoznadzor  website.

 

Clarification of Rosselkhoznadzor flu infected migratory birds in the Astrakhan region

April 26, 2015

Subordinated to the Rosselkhoznadzor Federal Centre for Animal Health in research within the federal epizootic monitoring in samples of biological material taken from the territory of curly pelicans Ikryaninskiy region Astrakhan region, identified the gene of influenza A virus subtype H5N1 bird. Research isolates showed that they belong to the Asian genetic lineage HPAI virus and proximity to isolates of influenza A virus subtype H5N1 bird isolated in the Altai region in 2014, as well as subtypes of the same virus isolated in Vietnam and China in 2012-2014 .

 

Although we don’t get a lot of reporting out of Russia, you may recall that late last year they announced the detection of H5N8  (see OIE Report: H5N8 Detected In Eastern Russia) in a Eurasian widgeon collected last October -  a full month before Europe reported their first H5N8 outbreak.

 

These past six months we’ve seen HPAI H5 virus on the move around the world, with H5N8 making it to North America and Europe, and H5N1 showing up in countries that haven't reported outbreaks since 2006-2007.

 

Although most migratory flyways are predominantly north-south corridors, their overlapping allows for a lateral (east-west) movement of avian viruses as well – often via shared nesting areas and ponds. As you can see, the Black Sea/Mediterranean Flyway shares territory with both the East Africa West Asia flyway, and the East Atlantic Flyway.

 

For more on how scientists are studying the spread of avian flu viruses via these flyways, you may wish to revisit:

Erasmus Study On Role Of Migratory Birds In Spread Of Avian Flu
PNAS: H5N1 Propagation Via Migratory Birds
EID Journal: A Proposed Strategy For Wild Bird Avian Influenza Surveillance
PLoS One: North Atlantic Flyways Provide Opportunities For Spread Of Avian Influenza Viruses

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