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A/V Dec31 Jan9 Jan15 Feb19  RSS Feed twitterNews Now                         


US Fujian H5N8 and H5N2 Wild Bird Species Frequencies
Recombinomics Commentary
February 25, 2015 14:15

14b 12-31-2014 Red-tailed Hawk Benton WA EA/AM H5N2 02-12-2015 Washington State DFW

30b 01-10-2015 Mallard Walla Walla WA EA/AM H5N2 02-12-2015 USGS-NWHC

The above data are from the USDA / APHIS table on wild birds in the Pacific Flyway that have tested positive for Fujian Clade H5 (which currently has 34 entries).  They represent the two most recent H5N2 entries, which were added to the file on February 20 and were accessible from the Pacific Flyway update on February 23.These entries further support widespread H5N2 near two backyard farms in Benton County, Washington with confirmed H5N2 (see H5N2 map). 

Sequences (A/chicken/Washington/61-9/2014, A/domestic duck/Washington/61-16/2014, A/turkey/Washington/61-22/2014) from the index farm were closely related to each other as well as earlier collections in Fraser Valley (A/turkey/BC/FAV10/2014) and Whatcom County (A/Northern_pintail/Washington/40964/2014) signaling clonal expansion

Wild bird linkage to the backyard farms was supported by the December 31 collection from a Red-tailed Hawk (listed above) in Benton County as well as  6 hunter killed wild birds (3 Wood Ducks and 3 Northern Shovelers) in the Umatilla Wildlife Refuge (collected on January 3, 2015), which is in Morrow County Oregon, about 25 miles southwest of the Benton Country farms.The Mallard entry above cites H5N2 detection in Walla Walla County, Washington (collected on January 10) which is adjacent to Benton County.  Thus, H5N2 was confirmed in wild birds in Benton County as well as adjacent counties to the southwest (Morrow, Oregon) and southeast (Walla Walla, Washington),

The two recent wild bird entries are significantly delayed, but the 33 entries provide insight into the spread of H5N2 and H5N8 in the United States.  The H5N2 confirmations have been limited to the northwest (Washington, Oregon, and Idaho), while H5N8 has been detected on a wider area (see H5N8 map) in the Pacific Flyway (in California, Nevada, and Utah in addition to the three northwestern states). 

However, H5N2 detection s have been more frequent and the detections reflect species differences.  H5N8 has been reported in Wigeons in four counties (Whatcom, Clark, Butte, and Davis) in three states (Washington, California, and Utah).  Detection in Mallards has been limited to two (Gooding County, Idaho and Lincoln County, Nevada).

In contrast, H5N2, which has not been reported in Wigeons, has been detected in eleven Mallards in five Washington Counties (Whatcom, Clark, Benton, Skagit, Walla Walla) as well as two Oregon Counties (Lane and Columbia) and one Idaho County (Canyon).  Similarly, H5N2 has been found in Northern Pintails in two Washington Counties (Whatcom and Clark) and one Oregon County (Lane).  Multiple H5N2 detections in other species (Wood Duck or Northern Shoveler) were reported in Morrow County, Oregon.

These species differences support recent introductions, and more examples of both serotypes in North American wild birds are expected in more recent collections, which are not yet represented in the wild bird table (the most recent collection is more than a month ago, January 23, with only 3 entries since January 12).

As wild birds begin to migrate north, more infections in farms in the United States and Canada are expected.

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