Reassortment and persistence of influenza A viruses from diverse geographic origins within Australian wild birds: evidence from a small, isolated population of Ruddy turnstones

Hoye, Bethany, Donato, Celeste M, Lisovski, Simeon, Deng, Yi-Mo, Warner, Simone, Hurt, Aeron C, Klaassen, Marcel and Vijaykrishna, Dhanasekaran 2021, Reassortment and persistence of influenza A viruses from diverse geographic origins within Australian wild birds: evidence from a small, isolated population of Ruddy turnstones, Journal of virology, pp. 1-48, doi: 10.1128/jvi.02193-20.

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Title Reassortment and persistence of influenza A viruses from diverse geographic origins within Australian wild birds: evidence from a small, isolated population of Ruddy turnstones
Author(s) Hoye, BethanyORCID iD for Hoye, Bethany orcid.org/0000-0001-9502-5582
Donato, Celeste M
Lisovski, Simeon
Deng, Yi-Mo
Warner, Simone
Hurt, Aeron C
Klaassen, MarcelORCID iD for Klaassen, Marcel orcid.org/0000-0003-3907-9599
Vijaykrishna, Dhanasekaran
Journal name Journal of virology
Start page 1
End page 48
Total pages 48
Publisher American Society for Microbiology
Place of publication Baltimore, Md.
Publication date 2021-02-24
ISSN 0022-538X
1098-5514
Keyword(s) avian influenza viruses (AIVs)
Ruddy turnstones
Summary Australian lineages of avian influenza A viruses (AIVs) are thought to be phylogenetically distinct from those circulating in Eurasia and the Americas, suggesting the circulation of endemic viruses seeded by occasional introductions from other regions. However, processes underlying the introduction, evolution and maintenance of AIVs in Australia remain poorly understood. Waders (Order Charadriiformes, Family Scolopacidae) may play a unique role in the ecology and evolution of AIVs, particularly in Australia, where ducks, geese and swans (Order Anseriformes, Family Anatidae) rarely undertake intercontinental migrations. Across a five-year surveillance period (2011–2015), Ruddy turnstones (Arenaria interpres) that ‘overwinter’ during the Austral summer in south eastern Australia showed generally low levels of AIV prevalence (0–2%). However, in March 2014 we detected AIVs in 32% (95% CI; 25–39%) of individuals in a small, low-density, island population 90km from the Australian mainland. This epizootic comprised three distinct AIV genotypes, each of which represent a unique reassortment of Australian, recently introduced Eurasian, and recently introduced American-lineage gene segments. Strikingly, the Australian-lineage gene segments showed high similarity to H10N7 viruses isolated in 2010 and 2012 from poultry outbreaks 900–1500km to the north. Together with the diverse geographic origins of the American and Eurasian gene segments, these findings suggest extensive circulation and reassortment of AIVs within Australian wild birds over vast geographic distances. Our findings indicate that long-term surveillance in waders may yield unique insights into AIV gene flow, especially in geographic regions like Oceania where Anatidae do not display regular inter- or intracontinental migration. IMPORTANCE High prevalence of avian influenza viruses (AIVs) was detected in a small, low-density, isolated population of Ruddy turnstones in Australia. Analysis of these viruses revealed relatively recent introductions of viral gene segments from both Eurasia and North America, as well as long-term persistence of introduced gene segments in Australian wild birds. These data demonstrate that the flow of viruses into Australia may be more common than initially thought and that, once introduced, these AIVs have the potential to be maintained within the continent. These findings add to a growing body of evidence suggesting Australian wild birds are unlikely to be ecologically-isolated from the highly pathogenic H5Nx viruses circulating among wild birds throughout the northern hemisphere.
Language eng
DOI 10.1128/jvi.02193-20
Indigenous content off
Field of Research 06 Biological Sciences
07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences
11 Medical and Health Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30148539

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