New paper on wild birds and the spread of avian influenza

Published on October 20, 2016, by Marius Gilbert

A new H5N8 virus emerged in the years 2014-2015 and rapidly spread across several continents, causing several avian influenza outbreaks in Europe and in the USA. As part of a large consortium of researchers, we published this week a new paper in Science that combines phylogeography, epidemiology and data on poultry trade to conclude that wild migratory birds played an important role in this rapid spread.

A key visualisation of these results consisted in looking at these migratory patterns with a polar mapping projection to highlight the geographic proximity of different continents in the arctic. In general terms, the study will help better understanding the circulation of avian influenza viruses in the poular regions, and to provide better recommendations on locations and time where introduction of AI viruses could be prevented along migratory pathways.

Link to the paper on Science web site