Extensive Geographic Mosaicism in Avian Influenza Viruses from Gulls in the Northern Hemisphere

Wille, Michelle and Robertson, Gregory J. and Whitney, Hugh and Bishop, Mary Anne and Runstadler, Jonathan A. and Lang, Andrew S. (2011) Extensive Geographic Mosaicism in Avian Influenza Viruses from Gulls in the Northern Hemisphere. PLoS ONE, 6 (6). pp. 1-10. ISSN 1932-6203

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Due to limited interaction of migratory birds between Eurasia and America, two independent avian influenza virus (AIV) gene pools have evolved. There is evidence of low frequency reassortment between these regions, which has major implications in global AIV dynamics. Indeed, all currently circulating lineages of the PB1 and PA segments in North America are of Eurasian origin. Large-scale analyses of intercontinental reassortment have shown that viruses isolated from Charadriiformes (gulls, terns, and shorebirds) are the major contributor of these outsider events. To clarify the role of gulls in AIV dynamics, specifically in movement of genes between geographic regions, we have sequenced six gull AIV isolated in Alaska and analyzed these along with 142 other available gull virus sequences. Basic investigations of host species and the locations and times of isolation reveal biases in the available sequence information. Despite these biases, our analyses reveal a high frequency of geographic reassortment in gull viruses isolated in America. This intercontinental gene mixing is not found in the viruses isolated from gulls in Eurasia. This study demonstrates that gulls are important as vectors for geographically reassorted viruses, particularly in America, and that more surveillance effort should be placed on this group of birds.

Item Type: Article
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/306
Item ID: 306
Keywords: Article, Avian influenza, Avian influenza virus, Charadriiformes, Controlled study, Disease carrier, Gene frequency, Gene pool, Gene sequence, Genetic reassortment, Geographic distribution, Geographic origin, Microbial population dynamics, Mosaicism, Nonhuman, Northern Hemisphere, Nucleotide sequence, Organismal interaction, Unindexed sequence, Virus genome, Virus isolation, Virus transmission, Aves, Avian influenza virus, Charadriiformes, Laridae
Department(s): Science, Faculty of > Biology
Date: 15 June 2011
Date Type: Publication

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