Avian influenza virus circulating in wild birds in Catalonia

Virus Research journal has recently published a study where CreSA’s researchers have participated and showed that the avian influenza circulating in wild birds in Catalonia are phylogenetically related to Eurasian viruses. This study is pioneer in the detection and study of different subtypes of avian influenza virus in Spain from their natural hosts, the wild birds.

This study commissioned by CReSA by the Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Action (DAR) in collaboration with the Department of Environment and Housing (DMAiH), is part of the avian influenza surveillance in wild birds. It is remarkable to say that since the outbreak of H5N1 avian flu this virus has caused a great importance with regard to public and animal health and that is why throughout the world monitoring programs have established for to control the virus.

The results of this 3-year surveillance shows that no highly pathogenic virus has been founded in wild birds in Catalonia, although the H5 and H7 subtypes, which are  potentially highly pathogenic virus in poultry production, have been detected and avian influenza viruses circulating in our country belong to a Eurasian phylogenetic group clearly differentiated from the American one. This correlates with the migratory routes of wild birds passing through Catalonia, routes of Northern Europe and Africa. Needless to say that this work provides new ecological avian influenza virus in the western Mediterranean.

The results of this article may be found in the following publication: "Influenza A virus subtypes in wild birds in North-Eastern Spain (Catalonia)". Núria Busquets, Anna Alba, Sebastián Napp, Azucena Sánchez, Erika Serrano, Raquel Rivas, José Ignacio Núñez i Natàlia Majó. Virus Res. On line, 4 Gener 2010.

For any questions you can contact the author of the article:

Dr. Nuria Busquets
Email: nuria.busquets@cresa.uab.cat
Telephone no.: +34 93 581 4342
Fax: +34 93 581 44 90
Edifici CReSA. Campus UAB
08193 Bellaterra (Barcelona) Spain

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