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Takekawa J.Y.,U.S. Geological Survey | Prosser D.J.,U.S. Geological Survey | Collins B.M.,U.S. Geological Survey | Douglas D.C.,U.S. Geological Survey | And 9 more authors.
Viruses | Year: 2013

Highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 remains a serious concern for both poultry and human health. Wild waterfowl are considered to be the reservoir for low pathogenic avian influenza viruses; however, relatively little is known about their movement ecology in regions where HPAI H5N1 outbreaks regularly occur. We studied movements of the ruddy shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea), a wild migratory waterfowl species that was infected in the 2005 Qinghai Lake outbreak. We defined their migration with Brownian Bridge utilization distribution models and their breeding and wintering grounds with fixed kernel home ranges. We correlated their movements with HPAI H5N1 outbreaks, poultry density, land cover, and latitude in the Central Asian Flyway. Our Akaike Information Criterion analysis indicated that outbreaks were correlated with land cover, latitude, and poultry density. Although shelduck movements were included in the top two models, they were not a top parameter selected in AICc stepwise regression results. However, timing of outbreaks suggested that outbreaks in the flyway began during the winter in poultry with spillover to wild birds during the spring migration. Thus, studies of the movement ecology of wild birds in areas with persistent HPAI H5N1 outbreaks may contribute to understanding their role in transmission of this disease. © 2013 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Nemeth N.M.,University of Georgia | Brown J.D.,University of Georgia | Stallknecht D.E.,University of Georgia | Howerth E.W.,University of Georgia | And 2 more authors.
Veterinary Pathology | Year: 2013

Since 2005, clade 2.2 H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) viruses have caused infections and morbidity among numerous species of wild waterfowl in Eurasia and Africa. However, outbreaks associated with clade 2.3.2 viruses have increased since 2009, and viruses within this clade have become the dominant strain of the H5N1 HPAI virus detected in wild birds, reaching endemic status in domestic birds in select regions of Asia. To address questions regarding the emergence and expansion of clade 2.3.2 viruses, 2 waterfowl species repeatedly involved in outbreaks of H5N1 HPAI viruses, bar-headed geese (Anser indicus) and ruddy shelducks (Tadorna ferruginea), were inoculated with a representative virus. All of 3 infected ruddy shelducks exhibited neurologic signs and died within 4 to 5 days. Two of 3 infected bar-headed geese had transient weakness but all survived. Viral shedding was predominately via the oropharynx and was detected from 1 to 7 days after inoculation. The severity and distribution of microscopic lesions corresponded with clinical disease and influenza-specific immunohistochemical staining of neurons. The predominant lesions were in the brain and were more severe in ruddy shelducks. Increased caspase-3 reactivity in the brains of all infected birds suggests a role for apoptosis in H5N1 HPAI virus pathogenesis in these species. These results demonstrate that similar to clade 2.2 viruses, a clade 2.3.2 H5N1 HPAI virus is neurotropic in some waterfowl species and can lead to neurologic disease with varying clinical outcomes. This has implications for the role that wild waterfowl may play in transmission of this virus in endemic regions. © The Author(s) 2013.

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