Date of this Version
Emerging Infectious Diseases, Vol. 21, No. 5, May 2015
The novel Eurasian lineage clade 18.104.22.168 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) A(H5N8) virus (http://www.who.int/influenza/gisrs_laboratory/h5_nomenclature_clade2344/en/) spread rapidly and globally during 2014, substantially affecting poultry populations. The first outbreaks were reported during January 2014 in chickens and domestic ducks in South Korea and subsequently in China and Japan (1–4), reaching Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom by November 2014 and Italy in early December 2014 (5). Also in November 2014, a novel HPAI H5N2 virus was reported in outbreaks on chicken and turkey farms in Fraser Valley, British Columbia, Canada (5). This H5N2 influenza virus is a reassortant that contains the Eurasian clade 22.214.171.124 H5 plus 4 other Eurasian genes (polymerase acidic protein subunit, matrix protein, polymerase basic protein subunit [PB] 2, nonstructural protein) and 3 North American wild bird lineage genes (neuraminidase [NA], nucleoprotein, PB1) (5). Taiwan has recently reported novel reassortants of the H5 clade 126.96.36.199 with other Eurasian viruses (H5N2, H5N3).