Infectious Diseases 2022

Infectious Diseases 2022

European AI viruses to cross the Atlantic to North America

bioRxiv preprint doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2022.01.13.476155 16 January, 2022

On December 20, 2021, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) confirmed the presence of HPAI subtype H5N1 at a multi-species exhibition farm in the Avalon Peninsula of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.
Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) viruses of the A/Goose/Guangdong/1/1996lineage (GsGd), which threaten the health of poultry, wildlife and humans, are spreading across Asia, Europe and Africa, but are currently absent from Oceania and the Americas. In December 2021, H5N1 HPAI viruses were detected in poultry and a free-living gull in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. Phylogenetic analysis showed that these viruses were most closely related to HPAI GsGd viruses circulating in northwestern Europe in spring 2021.
Analysis of wild bird migration suggested that these viruses may have been carried across the Atlantic via Iceland, Greenland/Arctic or pelagic routes. The documented incursion of HPAI GsGd viruses into North America raises concern for further virus spread across the Americas by wild bird migration.