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Fujian H5N8 In Oregon Matches Europe and Japan
Recombinomics Commentary
December 22, 2014 23:15

The affected premises are a small backyard mixed flock of guinea fowl, chickens, ducks, and geese that are allowed access to the outdoors and regularly exposed to wild migratory waterfowl.

Preliminary results indicate the HA sequence is 99.3% similar to A/bean goose/Korea/H40/2014 (H5N8 HPAI) based on a partial fragment of the HA gene. The neuraminidase sequence is 99.7% similar to A/Baikal teal/Korea/H80/2014 (H5N8) based on a partial fragment of the NA gene. The amino acid sequence at the hemagglutinin cleavage site is consistent with highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI).

The above comments on the H5N8 outbreak in Winston, Oregon from the December 22 OIE report describe a small holding of 130, which included guinea fowl, chickens, ducks and geese, of which 28 had died prior to culling.  The poly-basic cleavage site confirmed the HPAI indicated by the fatality rate, and the sequence similarity with H5N8 at Genbank indicate the Oregon sequences will be even more closely related to recent GISAID H5N8 sequences from Europe (Germany, Netherlands, England, Italy) and Japan, as well as the unpublished sequences from 4 pet falcons which died in Lynden after eating a wigeon caught near Wiser Lake in Whatcom County in Washington.

The published H5N8 sequences in Europe and Asia have 3 gene segments (H5, PA, MP) from Fujian clade 2.3.4.  Moreover, the reported H5N2 sequences in British Columbia have 5 of the 8 H5N8 gene segments, including Fujian H5.  It is likely that a similar constellation is in the H5N2 sequences from a northern pintail from Wiser Lake.

Full sequences from the US and Canadian outbreaks would be useful.

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