Journal Articles

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PLos Pathogens


Wild birds can carry avian influenza viruses (AIV), including those with pandemic or panzootic potential, long distances. Even though AIV has a broad host range, few studies account for host diversity when estimating AIV spread. We analyzed AIV genomic sequences from North American wild birds, including 303 newly sequenced isolates, to estimate interspecies and geographic viral transition patterns among multiple co-circulating subtypes. Our results show high transition rates within Anseriformes and Charadriiformes, but limited transitions between these orders. Patterns of transition between species were positively associated with breeding habitat range overlap, and negatively associated with host genetic distance. Distance between regions (negative correlation) and summer temperature at origin (positive correlation) were strong predictors of transition between locations. Taken together, this study demonstrates that host diversity and ecology can determine evolutionary processes that underlie AIV natural history and spread. Understanding these processes can provide important insights for effective control of AIV.


Animals, Animals, Wild, Birds, Influenza A virus, Influenza in Birds, North America

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