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Avian influenza H5N1 viral and bird migration networks in Asia

September 10, 2015

The spatial spread of the highly pathogenic avian influenza virus H5N1 and its long-term persistence in Asia have resulted in avian influenza panzootics and enormous economic losses in the poultry sector. However, an understanding of the regional long-distance transmission and seasonal patterns of the virus is still lacking. In this study, we present a phylogeographic approach to reconstruct the viral migration network. We show that within each wild fowl migratory flyway, the timing of H5N1 outbreaks and viral migrations are closely associated, but little viral transmission was observed between the flyways. The bird migration network is shown to better reflect the observed viral gene sequence data than other networks and contributes to seasonal H5N1 epidemics in local regions and its large-scale transmission along flyways. These findings have potentially far-reaching consequences, improving our understanding of how bird migration drives the periodic reemergence of H5N1 in Asia.

Publication Year 2015
Title Avian influenza H5N1 viral and bird migration networks in Asia
DOI 10.1073/pnas.1405216112
Authors Huaivu Tian, Sen Zhou, Lu Dong, Thomas P. Van Boeckel, Yujun Cui, Scott H. Newman, John Y. Takekawa, Diann J. Prosser, Xiangming Xiao, Yarong Wu, Bernard Cazelles, Shanqian Huang, Ruifu Yang, Bryan T. Grenfell, Bing Xu
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title PNAS
Index ID 70157157
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Western Ecological Research Center