Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 507220
Title Southward autumn migration of waterfowl facilitates cross-continental transmission of the highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 virus
Author(s) Xu, Yanjie; Gong, Peng; Wielstra, Ben; Si, Yali
Source Scientific Reports 6 (2016). - ISSN 2045-2322
Department(s) Resource Ecology
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2016

The highly pathogenic avian influenza subtype H5N1 (HPAI H5N1) is a worldwide zoonotic infectious disease, threatening humans, poultry and wild birds. The role of wild birds in the spread of HPAI H5N1 has previously been investigated by comparing disease spread patterns with bird migration routes. However, the different roles that the southward autumn and northward spring migration might play in virus transmission have hardly been explored. Using direction analysis, we analyze HPAI H5N1 transmission directions and angular concentration of currently circulating viral clades, and compare these with waterfowl seasonal migration directions along major waterfowl flyways. Out of 22 HPAI H5N1 transmission directions, 18 had both a southward direction and a relatively high concentration. Differences between disease transmission and waterfowl migration directions were significantly smaller for autumn than for spring migration. The four northward transmission directions were found along Asian flyways, where the initial epicenter of the virus was located. We suggest waterfowl first picked up the virus from East Asia, then brought it to the north via spring migration, and then spread it to other parts of world mainly by autumn migration. We emphasize waterfowl autumn migration plays a relatively important role in HPAI H5N1 transmission compared to spring migration.

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