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Virology. 2009 Jan 5;383(1):156-61. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2008.10.015. Epub 2008 Nov 8.

Frequent inter-species transmission and geographic subdivision in avian influenza viruses from wild birds.

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Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics, Department of Biology, The Pennsylvania State University, Mueller Laboratory, University Park, PA 16802, USA.


Revealing the factors that shape the genetic structure of avian influenza viruses (AIVs) in wild bird populations is essential to understanding their evolution. However, the relationship between epidemiological dynamics and patterns of genetic diversity in AIV is not well understood, especially at the continental scale. To address this question, we undertook a phylogeographic analysis of complete genome sequences of AIV sampled from wild birds in North America. In particular, we asked whether host species, geographic location or sampling time played the major role in shaping patterns of viral genetic diversity. Strikingly, our analysis revealed no strong species effect, yet a significant viral clustering by time and place of sampling, as well as the circulation of multiple viral lineages in single locations. These results suggest that AIVs can readily infect many of the bird species that share breeding/feeding areas.

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