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Public Health Authorities Express Concern over H10 Avian Influenza


The possibility that H10 strains of avian influenza have zoonotic potential is under review by public health authorities.  Both human-derived and chicken isolates have a high affinity for sialic acid-alpha-2,6-galactose receptors.  It is possible that some chicken-derived strains of H10 virus may infect human contacts without necessarily undergoing mutation.  The hemagglutinin and neuraminidase genes of H10N3 are common to viruses with a Eurasian lineage.


H10N4 avian influenza virus was responsible for a clinical outbreak in mink in Sweden in 1985.  H10N7 cases occurred among human contacts of chickens during 2004 in Egypt and in 2012 among workers in a processing plant in Australia.


The WHO and the WOAH through a network of international reference laboratories are characterizing influenza viruses isolated from both avian and mammalian species to monitor for changes in that may suggest zoonotic potential in advance of a pandemic.