(HealthDay News) – The potential for reassortment between human and avian influenza viruses underscores that emerging diseases arise at the convergence of the human and animal domains, according to a study published in the April issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Trevon L. Fuller, PhD, from the University of California Los Angeles, and colleagues fitted multivariate regression models to surveillance data on influenza A virus subtype H5N1 among poultry in China and Egypt and subtype H3N2 among humans to identify geographic areas where agricultural production systems are conducive to reassortment.

The researchers found that when the models were applied across Asia and Egypt to predict where subtype H3N2 from humans and subtype H5N1 from birds overlap, this overlap served as a proxy for co-infection and in vivo reassortment. The prioritization was refined for Asia by identifying areas that also have high swine density. The geographic foci for potential reassortment included the northern plains of India, coastal and central provinces of China, the western Korean Peninsula and southwestern Japan in Asia, and the Nile Delta in Egypt.

“Although our analysis focused on the influenza virus, our modeling framework can be generalized to characterize other potential emerging infectious diseases at the human-animal interface,” the authors write.

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