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2024-5-25 6:28:37

Tammiranta N, Isomursu M, Fusaro A, Nylund M, Noki. Highly pathogenic avian influenza A (H5N1) virus infections in wild carnivores connected to mass mortalities of pheasants in Finland. Infect Genet Evol. 2023 Mar 6:105423
submited by kickingbird at Mar, 10, 2023 12:4 PM from Infect Genet Evol. 2023 Mar 6:105423

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) has caused widespread mortality in both wild and domestic birds in Europe during 2020-2022. Virus types H5N8 and H5N1 have dominated the epidemic. Isolated spill-over infections in mammals started to emerge as the epidemic continued. In autumn 2021, HPAI H5N1 caused a series of mass mortality events in farmed and released pheasants (Phasianus colchicus) in a restricted area in southern Finland. Later, in the same area, an otter (Lutra lutra), two red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and a lynx (Lynx lynx) were found moribund or dead and infected with H5N1 HPAI virus. Phylogenetically, H5N1 strains from pheasants and mammals clustered together. Molecular analyses of the four mammalian virus strains revealed mutations in the PB2 gene segment (PB2-E627K and PB2-D701N) that are known to facilitate viral replication in mammals. This study revealed that avian influenza cases in mammals were spatially and temporally connected with avian mass mortalities suggesting increased infection pressure from birds to mammals.

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