Global Resurgence of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza H5N1: Ecological Insights

The episodic resurgence of highly pathogenic avian influenza H5 virus

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 has seen increased activity globally since 2021, impacting both wild birds and poultry, as well as incidental infections in mammals. This study, using epidemiological, spatial, and genomic methods, sheds light on the changing patterns of H5N1 outbreaks. Key resurgent events occurred in 2016-2017 and 2020-2021, leading to the emergence and widespread spread of H5N1 in 2021-2022. Genomic analysis revealed shifts in the virus’s origins, with mutations and reassortments occurring in different regions and wildlife. These findings indicate a shift in the epicenter of HPAI H5 beyond Asia and underscore the need for strategies to limit future outbreaks.

Xie, R., Edwards, K.M., Wille, M. et al. The episodic resurgence of highly pathogenic avian influenza H5 virus. Nature (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-023-06631-2


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