Special Issue "Recent Advances in Avian Influenza Virus Research"

A special issue of Microorganisms (ISSN 2076-2607). This special issue belongs to the section "Medical Microbiology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 August 2019

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Munir Iqbal

Head of Avian Influenza Group and Visiting Professor, Royal Veterinary College London, The Pirbright Institute, Ash Road, Pirbright, Woking, GU24 0NF, UK
Website | E-Mail
Interests: avian influenza virus evolution; influenza virus infection control in poultry; influenza virus subtypes detection

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Avian influenza viruses are a major worldwide threat to animal production systems, human health, food security, trade, and the economy. The viruses responsible for all four of the worldwide human influenza pandemics seen in the last 100 years have originated from birds. An effective control strategy for avian influenza in domesticated poultry is therefore an essential element in the protection of both bird and human populations.

This Special Issue will feature advances in the understanding of the ecology and pathobiology of avian influenza viruses, underpinning the development of improved disease prevention and control systems.

Prof. Dr. Munir Iqbal
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Microorganisms is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Surveillance, Ecology Evolution, and Epidemiology
  • Host–Pathogen Interactions
  • Virulence and Pathogenicity
  • Mechanisms of Immune Evasion
  • Next Generation Disease Control Strategies
  • Immunology/Immunity
  • Vaccines
  • Diagnostics
  • Zoonosis and Socio-Economic Impacts of Avian Diseases

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission, see below for planned papers.

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Biochemistry and computer generated graph comparison of the structural and nonstructural proteins of spanish-1918 Influenza, pandemic-2009, and bird flu viruses
Authors: Gusti Ngurah Mahardika *, Nyoman Suartha, Gusti Ayu Yuniati Kencana, Ida Bagus Kade Suardana, Wisnu Wira Mahardika, Nyoman Sri Budayanti
Abstract: The potential emergence of deadly pandemic influenza viruses is unpredictable and most have emerged with no forewarning. The distinct epidemiological and pathological patterns of the Spanish (H1N1), pandemic-2009 (H1N1), and avian influenza (H5N1), known as bird flu, viruses may allow us to develop a ‘template’ for possible emergence of devastating pandemic strains. To our knowledge, no direct molecular comparison of all genes of this influenza virus triad has been made. Here we provide a detailed molecular dissection of the structural and nonstructural proteins of this triad of viruses. GenBank data for three representative strains were analyzed to determine the polymorphic amino acids, genetic distances, and isoelectric points, hydrophobicity plot, and protein modeling of various proteins. We propose that the most devastating pandemic strains may have full-length PB1-F2 protein with unique residues, highly cleavable HA, and a basic NS1. Any newly emerging strain should be compared with these three strains, so that resources can be directed appropriately.

Title: Outbreaks of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza virus (HPAI) H5N1 in West Java Indonesia 2015-2016 and associated risk factors
Authors: Desniwaty Karo-karo, Hendra Wibawa, Eko Sugeng Pribadi, Fransiscus Xaverius Sudirman, Sukirman, Sussi Widi Kurniasih, Diyantoro, Lin Indasari, David Handojo Muljono, Guus Koch, Jan Arend Stegeman *
Abstract: In order to improve control of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza virus (HPAI) H5N1 in Indonesia knowledge of current outbreaks and associated risk factors is helpful. The aims of this study were to detect outbreaks of HPAI H5N1 in an endemically infected region by enhanced passive surveillance, describe the characteristics of these outbreaks and identify associated risk factors. From November 2015 to November 2016, HPAI outbreak investigations were conducted in six districts of West Java. In total 64 outbreaks were identified out of 75 reported suspicions and outbreak characteristics were recorded. Farm characteristics were collected from the outbreak and 60 control farms in the study region. Regarding outbreak chracteristics, the highest mortality was reported in backyard chickens (average 59%, CI95%: 49%-69%), compared to ducks (average 32%, CI95%: 19% - 45%) and others (average 28%, CI95%: 16%-40%). Dermal apoptosis - lesions (64%, CI95%:52%-76%) and respiratory signs (39%, CI95%:27%-51%) were the clinical signs observed overall most frequently. Neurological signs were most frequently observed in ducks (68%, CI95%:47%-90%). The analysis unveiled that ducks had 15.5 times higher odds of an HPAI outbreak compared to backyard chickens, while other poultry types had a similar risk compared to backyard chickens. Furthermore, larger farms (>1000 animals) had a much lower probability to get infected than small farms (OR: 0.018, CI95%: 0.0009 – 0.11). The latter is most likely due to better biosecurity in large farms than in small farms. In conclusion, HPAI H5N1 was still endemically circulating in West Java 2015-2016. Aiming AI control at duck, quail and chicken small holders is urgent to reduced the (silent) spread of avian influenza in West Java.

Title: The Emergence and Current Distribution of Clade HPAI H5Nx viruses
Authors: Khristine Joy C. Antigua, Won-Suk Choi, Yun Hee Baek and Min-Suk Song *
Abstract: Reassortment events among influenza viruses occur naturally and may lead to the development of new and different subtypes which often ignite the possibility of an influenza outbreak. Between 2008 to 2010, HPAI H5 of the N1 subtype from the A/goose/Guangdong/1/96-like (Gs/GD) lineage generated novel reassortants possessing non-N1 NA genes which causes most outbreaks in poultry. The extensive divergence of the H5 HA sequences of documented viruses, WHO/FAO/OIE H5 Evolutionary Working Group clustered these viruses into a systematic and unified nomenclature of Clade or currently known ‘H5Nx’ viruses. The rapid emergence and circulation of these viruses namely, H5N2, H5N3, H5N5, H5N6, H5N8 and the regenerated H5N1, are of great concern based on their pandemic potential. A better understanding of the evolution and emergence of these novel reassortants helps better elucidate their complex nature. The epidemiological distribution of H5Nx suggests the need to re-assess current practices and modify and develop alternative strategies to prevent future outbreaks. This review paper will give an overview of the emergence of each novel HPAI H5Nx viruses as well as its’ current epidemiological distribution.


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