Scientific Papers

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza A (H5N1) clade Virus detected in dairy cattle


The global emergence of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) A (H5N1) clade viruses poses a significant global public health threat. Until March 2024, no outbreaks of this virus clade had occurred in domestic cattle. We genetically characterize HPAI viruses from dairy cattle showing an abrupt drop in milk production. They share nearly identical genome sequences, forming a new genotype B3.13 within the clade. B3.13 viruses underwent two reassortment events since 2023 and exhibit critical mutations in HA, M1, and NS genes but lack critical mutations in PB2 and PB1 genes, which enhance virulence or adaptation to mammals. The PB2 E627K mutation in a human case underscores the potential for rapid evolution post-infection, highlighting the need for continued surveillance to monitor public health threats.