Volume 18, Number 10—October 2012
Atanaska Marinova-Petkova, Georgi Georgiev, Patrick Seiler, Daniel Darnell, John Franks, Scott Krauss, Richard J. Webby, and Robert G. Webster
Author affiliations: Regional Diagnostic Laboratory on Avian Influenza and Newcastle Disease in Birds, Varna, Bulgaria (A. Marinova-Petkova); National Diagnostic and Research Veterinary Medical Institute, Sofia, Bulgaria (A. Marinova-Petkova, G. Georgiev); and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, TN, USA (P. Seiler, D. Darnell, J. Franks, S. Krauss. R.J. Webby, R.G. Webster)
AbstractOn March 15, 2010, a highly pathogenic avian influenza virus was isolated from the carcass of a common buzzard (Buteo buteo) in Bulgaria. Phylogenetic analyses of the virus showed a close genetic relationship with influenza virus A (H5N1) clade 126.96.36.199 viruses isolated from wild birds in the Tyva Republic and Mongolia during 2009–2010. Designated A/common buzzard/Bulgaria/38WB/2010, this strain was highly pathogenic in chickens but had low pathogenicity in mice and ferrets and no molecular markers of increased pathogenicity in mammals. The establishment of clade 188.8.131.52 highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses of the H5N1 subtype in wild birds in Europe would increase the likelihood of health threats to humans and poultry in the region.