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Rapid mortality in captive bush dogs ( Speothos venaticus ) caused by influenza A of avian origin (H5N1) at a wildlife collection in the United Kingdom.

Europe has suffered unprecedented epizootics of high pathogenicity avian influenza (HPAI) clade 2.3.4.4b H5N1 since Autumn 2021. As well as impacting upon commercial and wild avian species, the virus has also infected mammalian species more than ever observed previously. Mammalian species involved in spill over events have primarily been scavenging terrestrial carnivores and farmed mammalian species although marine mammals have also been affected. Alongside reports of detections in mammalian species found dead through different surveillance schemes, several mass mortality events have been reported in farmed and wild animals. During November 2022, an unusual mortality event was reported in captive bush dogs ( Speothos venaticus ) with clade 2.3.4.4b H5N1 HPAIV of avian origin being the causative agent. The event involved an enclosure of fifteen bush dogs, ten of which succumbed during a nine-day period with some dogs exhibiting neurological disease. Ingestion of infected meat is proposed as the most likely infection route.

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