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Evolutional dynamics of highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N8 genotypes in wintering bird habitats: Insights from South Korea's 2020–2021 season

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Title
Evolutional dynamics of highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N8 genotypes in wintering bird habitats: Insights from South Korea's 2020–2021 season
Author(s)
Si, Young Jae; Seung-gyu Jang; Young-Il Kim; Casel, Mark Anthony B.; Kim, Dong-ju; Ho Young Ji; Choi, Jeong Ho; Gil, Ju Ryeon; Rollon, Rare; Jang, Hyunwoo; Cheun, So Youn; Eun-Ha Kim; Jeong, Hyesung; Young Ki Choi
Publication Date
2024-06
Journal
One Health, v.18
Publisher
Elsevier BV
Abstract
The winter of 2020–2021 in South Korea witnessed severe outbreaks of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) viruses, specifically multiple genotypes of the H5N8 subtype. These outbreaks prompted an extensive investigation into the genetic characteristics and evolutionary dynamics of these viruses. Under the auspices of the National Institute of Wildlife Disease Control and Prevention (NIWDC), we conducted a nationwide surveillance program, collecting 7588 specimens from diverse wild bird habitats. Influenza A viruses were isolated at a rate of 5.0%, with HPAI H5N8 viruses accounting for 38.5% of isolates, predominantly found in wild bird carcasses (97.3%). Genetic analysis revealed the emergence of novel HPAI genotypes due to genetic reassortment events. G1 and G2 viruses were separately introduced into Korea, with G1 viruses displaying dynamic behavior, resulting in diverse sub-genotypes (G1–1 to G1–5) and mainly isolated from clinical specimens. Conversely, the G2 virus, introduced later, became the dominant strain consistently isolated mainly from bird carcasses (88.9%). These findings underscore the emergence of numerous novel HPAI genotypes shaped by multiple reassortment events in high-density wintering grounds of migratory birds. These sites act as hotspots for genetic exchanges, significantly influencing avian ecology, including resident bird species, and contributing to HPAI H5N8 evolution. The genetic diversity and ongoing evolution of these viruses highlight the need for vigilant surveillance and adaptive control measures. Recognizing the potential spillover to human populations, a One Health approach is essential to mitigate the evolving threats posed by avian influenza. © 2024
URI
https://pr.ibs.re.kr/handle/8788114/15106
DOI
10.1016/j.onehlt.2024.100719
Appears in Collections:
Korea Virus Research Institute(한국바이러스기초연구소) > Center for Study of Emerging and Re-emerging Viruses(신변종 바이러스 연구센터) > 1. Journal Papers (저널논문)
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