Avian influenza in wild birds and poultry: Dissemination pathways, monitoring methods, and virus ecology

Artem Blagodatski, Kseniya Trutneva, Olga Glazova, Olga Mityaeva, Liudmila Shevkova, Evgenii Kegeles, Nikita Onyanov, Kseniia Fede, Anna Maznina, Elena Khavina, Seon Ju Yeo, Hyun Park, Pavel Volchkov

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Avian influenza is one of the largest known threats to domestic poultry. Influenza outbreaks on poultry farms typically lead to the complete slaughter of the entire domestic bird population, causing severe economic losses worldwide. Moreover, there are highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) strains that are able to infect the swine or human population in addition to their primary avian host and, as such, have the potential of being a global zoonotic and pandemic threat. Migratory birds, especially waterfowl, are a natural reservoir of the avian influenza virus; they carry and exchange different virus strains along their migration routes, leading to antigenic drift and antigenic shift, which results in the emergence of novel HPAI viruses. This requires monitoring over time and in different locations to allow for the upkeep of relevant knowledge on avian influenza virus evolution and the prevention of novel epizootic and epidemic outbreaks. In this review, we assess the role of migratory birds in the spread and introduction of influenza strains on a global level, based on recent data. Our analysis sheds light on the details of viral dissemination linked to avian migration, the viral exchange between migratory waterfowl and domestic poultry, virus ecology in general, and viral evolution as a process tightly linked to bird migration. We also provide insight into methods used to detect and quantify avian influenza in the wild. This review may be beneficial for the influenza research community and may pave the way to novel strategies of avian influenza and HPAI zoonosis outbreak monitoring and prevention.

Original languageEnglish
Article number630
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2021


  • Avian influenza
  • Avian influenza management
  • Influenza dissemination
  • Influenza ecology
  • Influenza monitoring
  • Influenza strains


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