By NewsDesk  @bactiman63

European officials report 561 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus detections in wild birds, poultry and captive birds since mid-August from 16 countries, according to a Scientific Report published yesterday.


Two-thirds of the detections, or 370, were in Germany, followed by Denmark and the Netherlands.

Three HPAI virus subtypes, A(H5N8) (n=518), A(H5N5) (n=17) and A(H5N1) (n=6), and four different genotypes were identified, suggesting the occurrence of multiple virus introductions into Europe.

The HA gene of the currently circulating HPAI viruses of the A(H5N8), A(H5N1) and A(H5N5) subtypes form a single genetic group within clade, and cluster with HPAI A(H5Nx) viruses that have been detected in Iraq, Russia and Kazakhstan since May 2020. Four different genotypes, generated through multiple reassortment events with LPAI viruses circulating in wild birds in Eurasia, were identified in Europe. This high genetic variability suggests multiple virus introductions into Europe

The bulk (90%) of the detections were in wild birds–mostly in barnacle goose, greylag goose, and Eurasian wigeon. The remainder of the detections were in poultry, where the most likely source of infection was indirect contact with wild birds.

European officials say the risk of zoonotic transmission of avian influenza viruses to the general population in Europe remains very low. The evolution of the viruses and recent reassortment events need to be closely monitored in order to assess the ongoing risk of emerging reassorted viruses being
transmitted to humans.