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  • Author or Editor: Wendy B. Puryear x
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Abstract

While diverse strains of low-pathogenicity avian influenza have circulated in wild birds for a long period of time, there has previously been little pathology in wild birds, ducks have been the primary and largely asymptomatic wild reservoir, and spillover into mammals has been limited and rare. In recent years, a high-pathogenicity avian influenza (HPAI) virus has emerged on the global scene and shifted the previously established dogmas for influenza infection. High-pathogenicity avian influenza has expanded into wildlife in unprecedented numbers and species diversity, with unmatched disease severity for influenza in wildlife. As the disease ecology of influenza has shifted with this new variant, significant efforts are underway to understand disease course, pathology, and species susceptibility. Here we focus primarily on the impact that HPAI has had in wild mammals while framing these novel spillovers within the context of significantly expanding disease in avian species and geography. The clinical and pathology presentations of HPAI in these atypical hosts are discussed, as well as prognosis and risk for continued spillover. The companion Currents in One Health by Runstadler and Puryear, AJVR, May 2024, provides further context on viral reservoirs and possible routes of direct or environmental transmission and risk assessment of viral variants that are emerging within wildlife.

Open access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) has persisted as a One Health threat whose current circulation and impact are addressed in the companion Currents in One Health by Puryear and Runstadler, JAVMA, May 2024. Highly pathogenic avian influenza emerged as a by-product of agricultural practices and adapted to endemic circulation in wild bird species. Over more than 20 years, continued evolution in a complex ecology involving multiple hosts has produced a lineage that expanded globally over the last 2 years. Understanding the continued evolution and movement of HPAI relies on understanding how the virus is infecting different hosts in different contexts. This includes understanding the environmental factors and the natural ecology of viral transmission that impact host exposure and ultimately evolutionary trajectories. Particularly with the rapid host expansion, increased spillover to mammalian hosts, and novel clinical phenotypes in infected hosts, despite progress in understanding the impact of specific mutations to HPAI viruses that are associated with spillover potential, the threat to public health is poorly understood. Active research is focusing on new approaches to understanding the relationship of viral genotype to phenotype and the implementation of research and surveillance pipelines to make sense of the enormous potential for diverse HPAI viruses to emerge from wild reservoirs amid global circulation.

Open access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research