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New type of bird flu found in penguins

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jacksdad View Drop Down
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    Posted: September 30 2016 at 12:23pm

New Type of Bird Flu Found in Antarctic Penguins


Scientists have discovered a new strain of avian influenza virus (AIV) in Antarctic penguins, suggesting that the frozen continent may be more vulnerable to introduced pathogens than had been thought.

The virus, which was discovered in a chinstrap penguin on the Antarctic Peninsula, was highly similar to a North American strain, meaning it was introduced recently. The discovery, by a team led by Aeron Hurt of the Melbourne-based Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, was published in the Journal of Virology.

It's not the first time that bird flu has been found in Antarctic penguins. In 2013, after collecting swabs, blood and feces from several species, Hurt and colleagues found a different strain in Adélie penguins; they also found it the following year, which Hurt said might mean that the virus can survive an Antarctic winter and resurface the following summer as migrating penguins return.


Genetic analysis of that virus suggested it diverged from other strains between 49 and 80 years ago, meaning it had likely been in the Antarctic for decades. Its discovery prompted Hurt and colleagues to hypothesize that Antarctica was the "ultimate 'AIV evolutionary sink', whereby new strains are introduced into the region only on rare occasions, but once introduced, can become endemic within the local bird population and over time become highly diverged from other AIVs on the planet." However, the latest discovery suggests that Antarctica may be more vulnerable to introductions of new strains than previously thought.

The scientists also found bird flu virus in a snowy sheathbill, a scavenging bird that steals krill and fish from penguins and also preys on chicks. That species sometimes flies north to the Falkland Islands and the southern tip of South America, suggesting that it or other migratory species like Arctic terns or skuas are the most likely pathways of infection.


The authors emphasize that the percentage of samples in which viruses were found was very low -- and of three penguin species studied, no gentoo penguins have been found to be infected -- and the virus does not appear to have made any of the birds ill. But the fact that such viruses can apparently find their way to Antarctica is a cause for some concern.

"The impact of a pathogenic influenza virus, one that causes death or severe illness in birds, would have a really devastating impact," Hurt said.


http://www.seeker.com/new-type-of-bird-flu-found-in-antarctic-penguins-2012653362.html?utm_medium=xpromo&utm_source=AOL&utm_campaign=carousel



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dutch Josh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 01 2016 at 2:28am
A H11N2-virus ! http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/avian-flu-discovered-in-penguins-in-antarctica-scientist/#

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Scientists have discovered a new strain of avian flu in the Antarctic, after testing a group of Adélie penguins, according to an Australian-based researcher. "We found that this virus was unlike anything else detected in the world," Aeron Hurt of the World Health Organization's Collaborating Center for Reference and Research on Influenza told Reuters from Melbourne on Tuesday. The flu virus, H11N2, was found in a small number of members of a group of Adélie penguins tested at two locations on the Antarctic Peninsula, the continent's northernmost region. It does not, however, appear to cause illness in the birds. "Probably, in the region we were sampling, the Antarctic peninsula, it's most likely that migratory birds are travel ling down from North and South America," Hurt said.

"We did some experiments to assess whether the virus has potential for humans to become infected...it's probably unlikely that humans are likely to be infected by this particular virus," he said  Two strains of avian flu have occurred in southeast Asia over the past two years - H7N9 and H5N1 - causing deaths among humans and wildlife. In February, a H10N8 strain previously unknown in humans caused one death in China and in April, an oubreak of bird flu on a California quail farm prompted five key export markets to bar imports of poultry from the state.

Que sera, sera, Whatever will be, will be, The future is not ours to see, Que sera, sera !
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jacksdad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 01 2016 at 8:25am
And H5N5, Josh. Fortunately lo-path at this point, but we know how that can change given the right conditions (ones we excel at providing with wet markets and factory farming).

"Using multisegment RT-PCR performed with influenza-specific universal primers, we amplified all 8 virus segments from a chinstrap penguin specimen, which yielded cDNA products suitable for next-generation sequencing with a HiSeq 2500 System (Illumina, San Diego, CA, USA). This virus was subtyped as an H5N5 and named A/chinstrap_penguin/Antarctica/B04/2015 (H5N5). Analysis of its cleavage site confirmed this was a typical low pathogenicity AIV (LPAIV) containing cleavage motif PQRETRGLF (7)."

http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/22/12/16-1076_article








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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jacksdad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 01 2016 at 8:51am
And don't forget the ostriches... Stern Smile

Poultry News
         

Low Path Bird Flu Back Again in South Africa's Ostrich Sector

29 September 2016

SOUTH AFRICA - Another outbreak of low pathogenic avian influenza has affected a commercial ostrich farm in South Africa's Western Cape province.

The H5N2 outbreak affected 2799 birds out of a total susceptible population of 4198. Quarantines, movement controls inside the country and screening measures have been enacted.

This is the latest in a long line of low pathogenic outbreaks in the South African ostrich farming sector.



http://www.thepoultrysite.com/poultrynews/37601/low-path-bird-flu-back-again-in-south-africas-ostrich-sector/


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dutch Josh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 01 2016 at 9:37am
H5N5 is not a "new"-type of bird-flu virus http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/17/6/10-1406_article (China 2008 but this is a sub-type of H5N5 ? http://crofsblogs.typepad.com/h5n1/h5n5/

What I understand is that H5N5 is a danger for other birds/animals. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378113514005550 Even in Antarctica (with some parts already getting above freezing temperatures-very early in the southern summer) ! 

From crofsblog:
Hurt said the unique strain of influenza found in 2013 was also detected the following year, which might mean it could survive underneath the ice during the winter, resurfacing in the summer months as migrating penguins returned.  
Several migratory birds, including the Arctic tern and skua are thought to be the most likely culprits for delivering the viruses to Antarctica. 
The birds can interact with poultry farms infected with avian influenza in North and South America before returning to Antarctica. 
While the influenza hasn’t made the penguins ill, the fact that the viruses have arrived in Antarctica worries scientists. 
“The impact of a pathogenic influenza virus, one that causes death or severe illness in birds, would have a really devastating impact,” Hurt said. 
Understanding how avian influenza reached Antarctica helped provide more insight into how the virus moved around the world, he said.


Que sera, sera, Whatever will be, will be, The future is not ours to see, Que sera, sera !
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jacksdad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 01 2016 at 10:03am
I agree, Josh, but H11N2 was actually found in Antarctic penguins back in 2013. This article seems to reference the first observation of H5N2 in Antarctic penguins in samples taken from 2015-2016. The researchers do acknowledge the "possible introduction of this H5 AIV into Antarctica via the Pacific or the Mississippi–American flyways, although we cannot rule out that this H5 strain is endemic to other South America locations".
It would be better characterized as the first observation of a known subtype both in a previously uninfected population and an extremely harsh environment, rather than a new virus (although this strain does seem to be an amalgam of previously known viruses). As you mentioned, the significance is the fact that it made it's way all the way to the Antarctic and found a new host. Tough virus Shocked

http://jvi.asm.org/content/early/2016/08/11/JVI.01404-16.abstract?cited-by=yes&legid=jvi;JVI.01404-16v1

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dutch Josh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 01 2016 at 8:47pm
For all the (new, subtype) virusses that survive the South Pole ! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wmc8bQoL-J0 Smile

Proberbly a lot of those virusses will return to the America's and Africa, Australia in a slightly different mutated form by migrating birds etc. 
Que sera, sera, Whatever will be, will be, The future is not ours to see, Que sera, sera !
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