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13 Mar 2013

Predicting Hotspots for Influenza Virus Reassortment (Emerg Infect Dis., abstract, edited)

[Source: Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal, full text: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Volume 19, Number 4—April 2013


Predicting Hotspots for Influenza Virus Reassortment

Trevon L. Fuller, Marius Gilbert, Vincent Martin, Julien Cappelle, Parviez Hosseini, Kevin Y. Njabo, Soad Abdel Aziz, Xiangming Xiao, Peter Daszak, and Thomas B. Smith

Author affiliations: University of California, Los Angeles, California, USA (T.L. Fuller, K.Y. Njabo, T.B. Smith); Universit√© Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium (M. Gilbert); Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Beijing, People’s Republic of China (V. Martin); Centre de Cooperation International en Recherche Agronomique pour le Developpement, Montpellier, France (J. Cappelle); EcoHealth Alliance, New York, New York, USA (P. Hosseini, P. Daszak); National Laboratory for Quality Control on Poultry Production, Dokki, Giza, Egypt (S.A. Aziz); University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA (X. Xiao)



The 1957 and 1968 influenza pandemics, each of which killed ≈1 million persons, arose through reassortment events. Influenza virus in humans and domestic animals could reassort and cause another pandemic. To identify geographic areas where agricultural production systems are conducive to reassortment, we fitted multivariate regression models to surveillance data on influenza A virus subtype H5N1 among poultry in China and Egypt and subtype H3N2 among humans. We then applied the models across Asia and Egypt to predict where subtype H3N2 from humans and subtype H5N1 from birds overlap; this overlap serves as a proxy for co-infection and in vivo reassortment. For Asia, we refined the prioritization by identifying areas that also have high swine density. Potential geographic foci of reassortment include the northern plains of India, coastal and central provinces of China, the western Korean Peninsula and southwestern Japan in Asia, and the Nile Delta in Egypt.