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Sci Rep. 2015 Mar 25;5:9484. doi: 10.1038/srep09484.

Reassortant highly pathogenic influenza A H5N2 virus containing gene segments related to Eurasian H5N8 in British Columbia, Canada, 2014.

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Canadian Food Inspection Agency, National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3E 3M4.
Animal Health Centre, Ministry of Agriculture, Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada V3G 2M3.


In late November 2014 higher than normal death losses in a meat turkey and chicken broiler breeder farm in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia initiated a diagnostic investigation that led to the discovery of a novel reassortant highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N2 virus. This virus, composed of 5 gene segments (PB2, PA, HA, M and NS) related to Eurasian HPAI H5N8 and the remaining gene segments (PB1, NP and NA) related to North American lineage waterfowl viruses, represents the first HPAI outbreak in North American poultry due to a virus with Eurasian lineage genes. Since its first appearance in Korea in January 2014, HPAI H5N8 spread to Western Europe in November 2014. These European outbreaks happened to temporally coincide with migratory waterfowl movements. The fact that the British Columbia outbreaks also occurred at a time associated with increased migratory waterfowl activity along with reports by the USA of a wholly Eurasian H5N8 virus detected in wild birds in Washington State, strongly suggest that migratory waterfowl were responsible for bringing Eurasian H5N8 to North America where it subsequently reassorted with indigenous viruses.

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