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Which viruses cause highly pathogenic disease?

Which viruses cause highly pathogenic disease?

Influenza A viruses1 have 16 H subtypes and 9 N subtypes2. Only viruses of the H5 and H7 subtypes are known to cause the highly pathogenic form of the disease. However, not all viruses of the H5 and H7 subtypes are highly pathogenic and not all will cause severe disease in poultry.

On present understanding, H5 and H7 viruses are introduced to poultry flocks in their low pathogenic form. When allowed to circulate in poultry populations, the viruses can mutate, usually within a few months, into the highly pathogenic form. This is why the presence of an H5 or H7 virus in poultry is always cause for concern, even when the initial signs of infection are mild.

1. Influenza viruses are grouped into three types, designated A, B, and C. Influenza A and B viruses are of concern for human health. Only influenza A viruses can cause pandemics.
2. The H subtypes are epidemiologically most important, as they govern the ability of the virus to bind to and enter cells, where multiplication of the virus then occurs. The N subtypes govern the release of newly formed virus from the cells

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