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Is H5N2 In Fraser Valley Canada Fujian Clade 2.3.4?
Recombinomics Commentary
December 4, 2014 17:15

A source to News1130 has confirmed the type of avian flu strain that is affecting four farms in the Fraser Valley.

It’s called H5N2

The above comments suggest that the H5 HPAI in Fraser Valley is H5N2.  However, it remains unclear if the H5 is a North American strain, or is Fujian clade 2.3.4 which is circulating in Asia as multiple serotypes, including H5N1, H5N2, H5N5, H5N6, and H5N8.

H5N8 has attracted considerable attention because of the massive outbreak in South Korea in early 2014, as well as its presence in November outbreaks in Europe (Germany, Netherlands, and England) as well as Japan.  These November confirmations include wild birds in German (teal), Netherlands (wigeon), and Japan (Tundra swan, ducks, white naped crane).

North American H5 has been widely reported in Canada, but these isolates were low path, in contrast to the high path in Fraser Valley.  In 2004 H7N3 began as low path, but evolved into high path on farms which then devastated the poultry population.  However, the change from low to high path takes time, but the OIE report on the 2014 H5 outbreak in Fraser Valley suggests that both outbreaks began at the end of November, with high mortality on December 1, suggesting the infections were due to high path H5 from wild birds.

The difference between Asian and North American H5 can be easily determined with the insert sequence generated in the PCR test.

Release of the sequences of the H5 insert or a larger segment would be useful.

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