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Fujian H5N2 Spread To Matsqui In Fraser Valley
Recombinomics Commentary
December 14, 2014 09:30

Tanya Fletcher ‏@TanyaNews1130 Dec 12
THIS JUST IN: #AvianFlu has been detected at another Fraser Valley farm. A poultry farm in Matsqui has tested positive. @News1130Radio

The above comments suggest the latest confirmed farm with H5N2 is in Matsqui, which is north of Abbotsford and about 9 miles from the two outbreaks at the farm in Aldergrove and 7 miles from the closest farm to the east of Abbotsford (see map), although the December 12 OIE report stated that the farm was located in the "same small area" of others, which included the two barns in Aldergrove.

This geographic expansion and gap in detection dates, coupled with a lack of links between farms at multiple locations, suggests wild birds are still infecting poultry in spite of increased biosecurity.  The latest tally cites 180,800 birds culled or at risk, and daily updates will be posted at 4 PM ET, as the spread continues.

The current Fraser Valley outbreak has exceeded those in Europe (Germany, Netherlands, and England) and the transmissibility is largely unknown because the novel reassortant in Canada has 5 gene segments, including H5, from H5N8, but three genes from a North American wild bird lineage, including N2.

The other two North American gene segments were not cited, but H5N8 bird flu has three segments from Fujian clade 2.3.4 H5N1 (H5, PA, and MP), so it is likely that the other two North American genes are from PB2, PB1, NP, and NS.  Release of the exact composition of the constellation would be useful.

The spread in Fraser Valley suggests H5N2 will soon be in the United States and may become endemic in North America.

Release of sequences for all 8 gene segments would be useful.

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