Australian surveillance for avian influenza viruses in wild birds between July 2005 and June 2007

Haynes, L., Arzey, E., Bell, C., Buchanan, N., Burgess, G., Cronan, V., Dickason, C., Field, H., Gibbs, S., Hansbro, P.M., Hollingsworth, T., Hurt, A.C., Kirkland, P., McCracken, H., O'Connor, J., Tracey, J., Wallner, J., Warner, S., Woods, R., and Bunn, C. (2009) Australian surveillance for avian influenza viruses in wild birds between July 2005 and June 2007. Australian Veterinary Journal, 87 (7). pp. 266-272.

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Abstract

Objective: To identify and gain an understanding of the influenza viruses circulating in wild birds in Australia.

Design: A total of 16,303 swabs and 3782 blood samples were collected and analysed for avian influenza (AI) viruses from 16,420 wild birds in Australia between July 2005 and June 2007. Anseriformes and Charadriiformes were primarily targeted.

Procedures: Cloacal, oropharyngeal and faecal (environmental) swabs were tested using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the AI type A matrix gene. Positive samples underwent virus culture and subtyping. Serum samples were analysed using a blocking enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for influenza A virus nucleoprotein.

Results: No highly pathogenic AI viruses were identified. However, 164 PCR tests were positive for the AI type A matrix gene, 46 of which were identified to subtype. A total of five viruses were isolated, three of which had a corresponding positive PCR and subtype identification (H3N8, H4N6, H7N6). Low pathogenic AI H5 and/or H7 was present in wild birds in New South Wales, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia. Antibodies to influenza A were also detected in 15.0% of the birds sampled.

Conclusions: Although low pathogenic AI virus subtypes are currently circulating in Australia, their prevalence is low (1.0% positive PCR). Surveillance activities for AI in wild birds should be continued to provide further epidemiological information about circulating viruses and to identify any changes in subtype prevalence.

Item ID: 11412
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: Australia; avian influenza; H5; H7; surveillance; wild birds
ISSN: 1751-0813
Date Deposited: 02 Jun 2010 00:32
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0707 Veterinary Sciences > 070704 Veterinary Epidemiology @ 50%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0605 Microbiology > 060506 Virology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960805 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity at Regional or Larger Scales @ 100%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 17
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