Lean FZX, Vitores AG, Reid SM, Banyard AC, Brown I. Gross pathology of high pathogenicity avian influenza virus H5N1 2021-2022 epizootic in naturally infected birds in the United Kingdom. One Health. 2022 Apr 27;14:100392
High pathogenicity avian influenza virus (HPAIV) clade 22.214.171.124b has re-emerged in the United Kingdom in 2021-2022 winter season, with over 90 cases of HPAIV detected among poultry and captive birds in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Globally, HPAIV H5N1 has also had a wide geographical dispersion, causing outbreaks in Europe, North America, Asia, and Africa, impacting on socioeconomic and wildlife conservation. It is important to raise awareness of the gross pathological features of HPAIV and subsequently aid disease investigation through definition of pathological indicators following natural infection. In this study, we report on the gross pathology of HPAI H5N1 in poultry species (chicken, turkey, pheasant, guineafowl, duck, goose), and captive or wild birds (mute swan, tufted duck, jackdaw, peahen, white-tailed eagle) that tested positive between October 2021 and February 2022. Pancreatic and splenic necrosis were the common pathological findings in both Galliformes and Anseriformes. In addition to the more severe lesions documented in Galliformes, we also noted increased detection of pathological changes in a broader range of Anseriformes particularly in domestic ducks, in contrast to those reported in previous seasons with other H5Nx HPAIV subtypes. A continual effort to characterise the pathological impact of the disease is necessary to update on the presentation of HPAIV for both domestic/captive and wild birds whilst guiding early presumptive diagnosis.
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