Avian flu could decimate Australian black swans

A lone Australian black swan in Narawntapu Nationwide Park, Tasmania (Australia). Credit rating: The University of Queensland

The special genetics of the Australian black swan leaves the species susceptible to viral ailments this sort of as avian flu, College of Queensland study has disclosed.

The UQ-led review has created a 1st-at any time genome of the black swan which uncovered the species lacks some immune genes which help other wild waterfowl battle infectious conditions.

Associate Professor Kirsty Limited from UQ’s School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences said the geographic isolation of Australia’s black swans has meant confined exposure to pathogens normally found in other pieces of the entire world main to minimized immune range.

“Contrary to Mallard ducks for case in point, black swans are particularly delicate highly pathogenic avian influenza—HPAI which is generally referred to as bird flu—and can die from it within just a few times,” Dr. Limited said.

“Our details suggests that the immune technique of the black swan is this sort of that, should really any avian viral an infection develop into founded in its native habitat, their survival would be in peril.

“We at the moment will not have HPAI in Australia, but it has spread from Asia to North The us, Europe, North Africa and South The usa.

“When it was launched to new destinations, these types of as Chile and Peru, 1000’s of wild seabirds perished.

“The possibility to a person of Australia’s most unique and attractive birds is quite actual, and we want to be well prepared if we hope to guard it.”

With the awareness from the UQ research, Dr. Limited stated researchers and conservationists hope to be ready to far better safeguard not only the black swan, but also other vulnerable species throughout the globe.

“We want to increase recognition about how susceptible Australia’s bird species are to avian influenza and the very precarious scenario they are in,” Dr. Small explained.

This investigate was released in Genome Biology.

Extra details:
Anjana C. Karawita et al, The swan genome and transcriptome, it is not all black and white, Genome Biology (2023). DOI: 10.1186/s13059-022-02838-

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Avian flu could decimate Australian black swans (2023, January 23)
retrieved 23 January 2023
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