In Bangladesh, little is known about the genomic composition and antigenicity of highly pathogenic avian influenza A(H5N1) viruses, their geographic distribution, temporal patterns, or gene flow within the avian host population. Forty highly pathogenic avian influenza A(H5N1) viruses isolated from humans and poultry in Bangladesh between 2008 and 2012 were analyzed by full genome sequencing and antigenic characterization. The analysis included viruses collected from avian hosts and environmental sampling in live bird markets, backyard poultry flocks, outbreak investigations in wild birds or poultry and from three human cases. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that the ancestors of these viruses reassorted (1) with other gene lineages of the same clade, (2) between different clades and (3) with low pathogenicity avian influenza A virus subtypes. Bayesian estimates of the time of most recent common ancestry, combined with geographic information, provided evidence of probable routes and timelines of virus spread into and out of Bangladesh.
- Avian influenza
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