Alaska represents a globally important region for the ecology of avian-origin influenza A viruses (IAVs) given the expansive wetlands in this region, which serve as habitat for numerous hosts of IAVs that disperse among four continents during the annual cycle. Extensive sampling of wild birds for IAVs in Alaska since 1991 has greatly extended inference regarding intercontinental viral exchange between North America and East Asia and the importance of Beringian endemic species to IAV ecology within this region. Data on IAVs in aquatic birds inhabiting Alaska have also been useful for helping to establish global patterns of prevalence in wild birds and viral dispersal across the landscape. In this review, we summarize the main findings from investigations of IAVs in wild birds and wetlands of Alaska with the aim of providing readers with an understanding of viral ecology within this region. More specifically, we review viral detections, evidence of IAV exposure, and genetic characterization of isolates derived from wild bird samples collected in Alaska by host taxonomy. Additionally, we provide a short overview of wetland complexes within Alaska that may be important to IAV ecology at the continental scale.

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