Avian influenza viruses in wild birds: virus evolution in a multi-host ecosystem
Marjolein J Poen,
Theo M Bestebroer,
Rachel D Scheuer,
Nadia B Fedorova,
Rebecca A Halpin,
Timothy B. Stockwell,
David E Wentworth,
Harm van Bakel,
Marek J Slomka,
Ian H Brown,
Ron A.M. Fouchier,
Nicola S Lewis
Posted 17 Mar 2018
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/282491 (published DOI: 10.1128/jvi.00433-18)
Posted 17 Mar 2018
Wild ducks and gulls are the major reservoirs for avian influenza A viruses (AIVs). The mechanisms that drive AIV evolution are complex at sites where various duck and gull species from multiple flyways breed, winter or stage. The Republic of Georgia is located at the intersection of three migratory flyways: Central Asian Flyway, East Asian/East African Flyway and Black Sea/Mediterranean Flyway. For six consecutive years (2010-2016), we collected AIV samples from various duck and gull species that breed, migrate and overwinter in Georgia. We found substantial subtype diversity of viruses that varied in prevalence from year to year. Low pathogenic (LP)AIV subtypes included H1N1, H2N3, H2N5, H2N7, H3N8, H4N2, H6N2, H7N3, H7N7, H9N1, H9N3, H10N4, H10N7, H11N1, H13N2, H13N6, H13N8, H16N3, plus two H5N5 and H5N8 highly pathogenic (HP)AIVs belonging to clade 220.127.116.11. Whole genome phylogenetic trees showed significant host species lineage restriction for nearly all gene segments and significant differences for LPAIVs among different host species in observed reassortment rates, as defined by quantification of phylogenetic incongruence, and in nucleotide diversity. Hemagglutinin clade 18.104.22.168 H5N8 viruses, circulated in Eurasia during 2014-2015 did not reassort, but analysis after its subsequent dissemination during 2016-2017 revealed reassortment in all gene segments except NP and NS. Some virus lineages appeared to be unrelated to AIVs in wild bird populations in other regions with maintenance of local AIV viruses in Georgia, whereas other lineages showed considerable genetic inter-relationship with viruses circulating in other parts of Eurasia and Africa, despite relative under-sampling in the area.
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