Continued evolution of highly pathogenic avian influenza A (H5N1): updated nomenclature
Article first published online: 29 OCT 2011
© 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses
Volume 6, Issue 1, pages 1–5, January 2012
How to Cite
WHO/OIE/FAO H5N1 Evolution Working Group (2012), Continued evolution of highly pathogenic avian influenza A (H5N1): updated nomenclature. Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses, 6: 1–5. doi: 10.1111/j.1750-2659.2011.00298.x
- Issue published online: 12 DEC 2011
- Article first published online: 29 OCT 2011
- Accepted 20 September 2011. Published online 28 October 2011.
- highly pathogenic avian influenza;
- molecular epidemiology;
- viral evolution
Please cite this paper as: WHO/OIE/FAO. (2012) Continued evolution of highly pathogenic avian influenza A(H5N1): Updated nomenclature. Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses 6(1), 1–5.
Background Continued evolution of highly pathogenic avian influenza A (H5N1) throughout many regions of the eastern hemisphere has led to the emergence of new phylogenetic groups. A total of 1637 new H5N1 hemagglutinin (HA) sequences have become available since the previous nomenclature recommendations described in 2009 by the WHO/OIE/FAO H5N1 Evolution Working Group. A comprehensive analysis including all the new data is needed to update HA clade nomenclature.
Methods Phylogenetic trees were constructed from data sets of all available H5N1 HA sequences. New clades were designated on the basis of phylogeny and p-distance using the pre-established nomenclature system (Emerg Infec Dis 2008; 14:e1). Each circulating H5N1 clade was subjected to further phylogenetic analysis and nucleotide sequence divergence calculations.
Results All recently circulating clades (clade 1 in the Mekong River Delta, 2.1.3 in Indonesia, 2.2 in India/Bangladesh, 2.2.1 in Egypt, 2.3.2, 2.3.4 and 7 in Asia) required assignment of divergent HA genes to new second-, third-, and/or fourth-order clades. At the same time, clades 0, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, and several second- and third-order groups from clade 2 have not been detected since 2008 or earlier.
Conclusions New designations are recommended for 12 HA clades, named according to previously defined criteria. In addition, viruses from 13 clades have not been detected since 2008 or earlier. The periodic updating of this dynamic classification system allows continued use of a unified nomenclature in all H5N1 studies.