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Multiple outbreaks of high pathogenicity avian influenza (H5N8) in Japan between winter 2021 and 2021 occurred in northern Japan, including 53 outbreaks at poultry farms and 58 cases in wild birds or the environment, which coincided with European outbreaks. Here, we examined how the H5N8 HPAI viruses grew and spread throughout Japan and the Eurasian continent. The E3 genotype viruses that caused the bulk of the HPAI outbreaks at poultry farms and were traced over the longest period of time. The viruses were identified as AIVs isolated from AIVs isolated by avian influenza surveillance programs in Siberia's Buryatia, Yakutia, and Amur regions, suggesting that the Japanese viruses originated from reassortment events with AIVs genetically related to Siberian AIVs. These findings show that the viruses in wild birds in Siberia during summer are most likely to spread in both Asia and Europe the following winter.
Following on outbreaks in East Asia in previous years, outbreaks of H5 high pathogenicity avian influenza viruses related to clade 2. 3. 4. 4 billion have emerged in Europe in late 2020. We report the isolation of a novel H5N1 virus from a captured mandarin duck in South Korea and another from a quail farm, as described in this study.
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