DOI: 10.2807/ ISSN: 1560-7917

Emergence and potential transmission route of avian influenza A (H5N1) virus in domestic cats in Poland, June 2023

Lukasz Rabalski, Aleksandra Milewska, Anne Pohlmann, Karolina Gackowska, Tomasz Lepionka, Klaudiusz Szczepaniak, Agnieszka Swiatalska, Izabela Sieminska, Zbigniew Arent, Martin Beer, Marion Koopmans, Maciej Grzybek, Krzysztof Pyrc
  • Virology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Epidemiology

In June 2023, a fatal disease outbreak in cats occurred in Poland. Most cases tested in Poland (29 of 47) were positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) A (H5N1) virus. Genetic analyses revealed clade with point mutations indicative of initial mammalian hosts adaptations. Cat viral sequences were highly similar (n = 21), suggesting a potential common infection source. To investigate possible infection routes, our group tested food samples from affected households. HPAI H5N1 virus was detected in one poultry meat sample.

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