From 2016 to 2018, surveillance of influenza A viruses in wild birds was conducted in Shanghai, located at the East Asian-Australian flyway, China. A total of 5112 samples from 51 species of wild birds were collected from three different wetlands. The total three-year prevalence of influenza A viruses among them was 8.8%, as assessed using real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) methods, and the total prevalence was higher in Anseriformes (26.3%) than in the Charadriiformes (2.3%) and the other orders (2.4%) in the Chongmin wetlands. Anseriformes should be the key monitoring group in future surveillance efforts. The peak prevalence of influenza A viruses in Charadriiformes were in April and September, and in other bird orders, the peaks were in November and December. Twelve subtypes of haemagglutinin (HA; H1-H12) and eight subtypes of neuraminidase (NA; N1, N2, N4-N9) were identified in 21 different combinations. The greatest subtype diversity could be found in common teal, suggesting that this species of the bird might play an important role in the ecology and epidemiology of influenza A viruses in Shanghai. These results will increase our understanding of the ecology and epidemiology of influenza A viruses in wild bird hosts in eastern China, and provide references for subsequent surveillance of influenza A virus in wild birds in this area.
Keywords: eastern China; influenza A virus; surveillance; wild birds.