In early January 2017, outbreaks of H5N8 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) were reported for the first time in wild and domestic birds along the shores and on some islands of Lake Victoria, in central-southern Uganda. Our whole-genome phylogenetic analyses revealed that the H5N8 viruses recovered from the outbreak in Uganda belonged to genetic clade 22.214.171.124 group-B and clustered with viruses collected in 2017 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and in West Africa. Our results suggested that infected migratory wild birds might have played a crucial role in the introduction of HPAI H5N8 into this region.
Keywords: H5N8 subtype; Influenza A virus; Migratory wild birds; Phylogeny; Uganda.
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