Pathobiological features that favor the intercontinental dissemination of highly pathogenic avian influenza virus H5N8

Authors: Xueying Li*, Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Earth System Modelling, Department of Earth System Science, Tsinghua, Beijing, China; Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Columbia University, New York, NY, United States, Bing Xu, Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Earth System Modelling, Department of Earth System Science, Tsinghua, Beijing, China; State Key Laboratory of Remote Sensing Science, College of Global Change and Earth System Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China, Jeffrey Shaman, Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Columbia University, New York, NY, United States
Topics: Biogeography
Keywords: avian influenza, wild bird, dynamic model
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:45 PM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Avian influenza viruses (AIV) are a continued threat to global health and economy. Unlike other highly pathogenic AIV, novel H5N8 disseminated very quickly from Korea to other areas in Asia, Europe, and even North America following its first outbreak in 2014. However, the pathobiological features of the virus that favored its global translocation remain unknown. In this study, we used a compartmental model to examine the avian epidemiological characteristics that would support the geographic spread of influenza by bird migration, and to provide recommendations for AIV surveillance in wild bird populations. We simulated virus transmission and translocation in a migratory bird population while varying four system properties: 1) contact transmission rate; 2) infection recovery rate; 3) mortality rate induced by infection; and 4) migratory recovery rate. Using these simulations, we then calculated extinction and translocation probabilities for influenza during spring migration as a function of the altered properties. We find that lower infection recovery rates increase the likelihood of AIV translocation in migratory bird populations. In addition, lower mortality rates or migration recovery rates also favor translocation. Our results identify pathobiological features supporting AIV intercontinental dissemination risk and suggest that characteristic differences exist among H5N8 and other AIV subtypes that have not translocated as rapidly (e.g. H5N6 and H5N1).

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