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Public health guide to field developments linking ecosystems, environments and health in the Anthropocene
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  • Published on:
    A(H5N1) Avian Influenza, why a New Pandemic could be in the Pipeline
    • Giovanni Di Guardo, DVM, Dipl. ECVP, Former Professor of General Pathology and Veterinary Pathophysiology University of Teramo, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Località Piano d'Accio, 64100 Teramo, Italy

    Alongside the first lethal case of human infection by the A(H5N2) avian influenza virus, which has recently occurred in a Mexican patient with no previous exposure to poultry and/or other animals (, the marked neurotropism and neuropathogenicity displayed by the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus A(H5N1) in several bird and mammalian hosts - with special reference to the viral clade - are a matter of concern. This appears to be additionally emphasized by the largely and rapidly expanding number of virus-susceptible animals, including several species phylogenetically distant from each other (1-6). Further worrysome issues are represented by the transmission of A(H5N1) virus from wild birds to cattle, with cows from 9 States in USA having tested positive to laboratory investigations (7). Noteworthy, while most infected bovines tend to develop mild clinical signs - with the subsequent risk of getting A(H5N1) avian influenza virus frequently undetected in cattle - consistent amounts of viral infectivity may be also found in raw, unpasteurized cow milk (8). In this respect, a surprisingly high expression of both the avian - sialic acid (SA) alfa-2-3-galactose (gal) - and the human - SA-alfa-2-6-gal - influenza virus receptors has been recently reported within the mammary gland tissue (but not in the uppe...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.