Genetic Characterization of H5N8 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Viruses Isolated from Falcated Ducks and Environmental Water in Japan in November 2020

We isolated two highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses (HPAIVs) of subtype H5N8 clade from falcated duck (Anas falcata) feces and environmental water collected at an overwintering site in Japan. Our isolates were almost genetically identical to each other and showed high genetic similarity with H5N8 HPAIVs recently isolated in South Korea, a distant part of Japan, and European countries. These results suggest the potential role of falcated ducks in the dissemination of HPAIVs.