Re-Invasion of H5N8 High Pathogenicity Avian Influenza Virus Clade in Hokkaido, Japan, 2020

Viruses. 2020 Dec 14;12(12):1439. doi: 10.3390/v12121439.


Global dispersion of high pathogenicity avian influenza (HPAI), especially that caused by H5 clade, has threatened poultry industries and, potentially, human health. An HPAI virus, A/northern pintail/Hokkaido/M13/2020 (H5N8) (NP/Hok/20) belonging to clade, was isolated from a fecal sample collected at a lake in Hokkaido, Japan where migratory birds rested, October 2020. In the phylogenetic trees of all eight gene segments, NP/Hok/20 fell into in the cluster of European isolates in 2020, but was distinct from the isolates in eastern Asia and Europe during the winter season of 2017-2018. The antigenic cartography indicates that the antigenicity of NP/Hok/20 was almost the same as that of previous isolates of H5 clade, whereas the antigenic distances from NP/Hok/20 to the representative strains in clade and to a strain in 2.3.4 were apparently distant. These data imply that HPAI virus clade should have been delivered by bird migration despite the intercontinental distance, although it was not defined whether NP/Hok/20 was transported from Europe via Siberia where migratory birds nest in the summer season. Given the probability of perpetuation of transmission in the northern territory, periodic updates of intensive surveys on avian influenza at the global level are essential to prepare for future outbreaks of the HPAI virus.

Keywords: H5N8; clade; highly pathogenic avian influenza.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Wild / virology
  • Ducks
  • Genotype*
  • Geography, Medical
  • History, 21st Century
  • Influenza A Virus, H5N8 Subtype / classification
  • Influenza A Virus, H5N8 Subtype / genetics*
  • Influenza A Virus, H5N8 Subtype / pathogenicity*
  • Influenza A virus
  • Influenza in Birds / epidemiology*
  • Influenza in Birds / history
  • Influenza in Birds / virology*
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Phylogeny
  • Virulence