Avian influenza viruses, including highly pathogenic strains, pose severe economic, animal and public health concerns. We implemented live bird market surveillance in Bangladesh to identify the subtypes of avian influenza A viruses in domestic waterfowl and market environments. We collected waterfowl samples monthly from 4 rural sites from 2007 to 2012 and environmental samples from 4 rural and 16 urban sites from 2009 to 2012. Samples were tested through real-time RT-PCR, virus culture, and sequencing to detect and characterize avian influenza A viruses. Among 4,308 waterfowl tested, 191 (4.4%) were positive for avian influenza A virus, including 74 (1.9%) avian influenza A/H5 subtype. The majority (99%, n = 73) of the influenza A/H5-positive samples were from healthy appearing waterfowl. Multiple subtypes, including H1N1, H1N3, H3N2, H3N6, H3N8, H4N1, H4N2, H4N6, H5N1 (clades 2.2.2, 18.104.22.168a, 22.214.171.124), H5N2, H6N1, H7N9, H9N2, H11N2 and H11N3, H11N6 were detected in waterfowl and environmental samples. Environmental samples tested positive for influenza A viruses throughout the year. Avian influenza viruses, including H5N1 and H9N2 subtypes were also identified in backyard and small-scale raised poultry. Live bird markets could be high-risk sites for harboring the viruses and have the potential to infect naive birds and humans exposed to them.
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