Category Archives: Influenza

Variation in viral shedding patterns between domestic and wild terrestrial birds infected experimentally with reassortant avian influenza virus (H9N2)

Authors: Umar, Sajid; Rehman, Abdul; Asif, Sajjad; Usman, Muhammad; Atif, Muhammad; Ali, Shahzad; Munir, Muhammad Tanveer; Ali, Asif; Shahzad, Muhammad; Shah, Muhammad Ali Abdullah
Source: Avian Biology Research, Volume 9, Number 3, September 2016, pp. 200-206(7)

Avian influenza (H9N2) virus infection is an emerging respiratory problem and its prevalence varies significantly among different species of birds. The current knowledge about virus shedding parameters in terrestrial birds is limited. With this in mind, the present study was conducted in different domestic and wild terrestrial birds to investigate species-related differences in infectivity and pattern of viral shedding associated with H9N2 AI virus. Groups of terrestrial birds (domestic Guinea Fowl Numida meleagridis, Japanese Quail Coturnix coturnix japonica, House Sparrows Passer domesticus, House Crows Corvus splendens and Bank Myna Acridotheres ginginianus) were inoculated intra-nasally with A/chicken/Pakistan/10RS3039-284-48/2010 (H9N2) AI virus (106 EID50) and then examined for infectivity and virus shedding patterns. With the exception of House Crows, all infected birds showed clinical signs of different severity, showing the most prominent disease signs in Japanese Quail. All infected birds showed positive results for virus shedding, however, the pattern of virus shedding was different among wild terrestrial birds. Japanese Quail showed the highest levels of virus shedding while samples collected from House Crows revealed only very low levels. Interestingly, virus shedding was observed predominantly via the gastrointestinal tract in House Sparrows and Bank Myna and via the buccal cavity route in Guinea Fowl and Japanese Quail. Here we investigated that the novel genotype of H9N2 AI virus circulating in Pakistan causes clinical disease signs in domestic and wild terrestrial birds. The results of this study suggest that virus shedding varies between different related avian species and highlights the potential role of Guinea Fowl, Japanese Quail, House Sparrows and Bank Myna as mixing bowls for the transmission and maintenance of H9N2 AI viruses between premises.
. . .

CIDRAP — H7N8 detections at more Indiana farms suggest mutation

Lisa Schnirring | News Editor | CIDRAP News | Jan 19, 2016

Testing at nearby farms in the wake of a highly pathogenic H7N8 avian flu outbreak that struck a turkey facility in southern Indiana last week turned up a low-pathogenic version of the virus eight more farms, hinting that the virus mutated to a more lethal strain as it spread.

In a related development, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned that, because H7 viruses have infected people before, so human infections from the new strain could occur, though the risk to the general public is low.

Although many questions remain about the newly detected strain, tests show that Indiana’s H7N8 strain is a North American lineage virus, according to a Jan 15 report to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). Deaths at the Dubois County turkey producer prompted testing, and results were confirmed and announced on Jan 15

. . .

For the complete CIDRAP article, please see:

CIDRAP — High-path H7N8 outbreak reported at Indiana turkey farm

Lisa Schnirring | News Editor | CIDRAP News | Jan 15, 2016

A highly pathogenic H7N8 avian influenza strain that hasn’t been seen in the United States before has struck a commercial turkey farm in southern Indiana, prompting the culling of about 60,000 birds, federal and state officials announced today.

The strain is different than the one that caused more than 200 outbreaks in US poultry last year and hasn’t caused any known human infections, according to a statement from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).

. . .

For the complete CIDRAP article, see:

Avian Influenza of high pathogenicity (H5N1, H5N2, and H5N9) in poultry in France

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Animal & Plant Health Agency
Veterinary & Science Policy Advice Team – International Disease Monitoring
Updated Outbreak Assessment
Avian Influenza of high pathogenicity (H5N1, H5N2,and H5N9) in poultry in France 23 December 2015 Ref: VITT/1200 HPAI in France
Disease ReportSince the last update on the 16th December, more outbreaks in poultry have been reported as a result of increased surveillance in South West France (Ministère de l’Agriculture,
France, 2015; see map – not all outbreaks visible at this scale). To date there are 61 outbreaks of HPAI H5 (N1, N2 and N9), 54 of which have been reported to the EU Animal Disease Notification System. Six regions are affected –Dordogne (12 outbreaks); Landes (27 outbreaks); HauteVienne (1); Gers (9); Pyrenees Atlantique (10) and; Haute Pyrenees (2). The situation continues to evolve and the French Authorities have increased the size of restriction zones to cover more regions (hatched / grey area in map) and this has been adopted by the European Commission under special written procedure (SANTE/7135/2015). Movements of live birds from any control zone are subject to pre-movement testing, which has led to the detection of more infected flocks, but does provide some additional assurance

. . .

For the complete report, click on

OiE declares US Avian Influenza outbreak ended

All HPAI H5N2 outbreaks in all affected States (Arkansas, California, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington, and Wisconsin) are now final, closed, and resolved. The last positive detection of HPAI H5N2 in poultry was made on June 18, 2015. In addition to having no further HPAI detections, all States affected with HPAI (listed above) have met the following: – Mandatory surveillance in the State and control areas has been completed with negative results for HPAI. As a precaution, additional enhanced surveillance and procedures may continue in the State and area. – Depopulation of all infected premises has been completed and appropriate disposal was completed. – Cleaning and disinfection of the infected premises (including, but not limited to, outside areas, equipment, trucks, and other fomites). – No HPAI detections through wild bird surveillance have been made within the past 3 months. The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), in conjunction with State Departments of Agriculture and Wildlife, and industry, continue to conduct thorough surveillance nationally for avian influenza virus through the National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP), Live Bird Market System, and wild bird surveillance programs, as well as completely investigate any suspected avian influenza virus event. No HPAI has been detected in poultry over 5 months. Each outbreak has been closed after the requested three-month period of stamping out, disinfection and surveillance. The HPAI event in the United States is considered CLOSED. In accordance with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) Terrestrial Animal Health Code Chapter 10.4 (Articles 10.4.3 and 10.4.4), the United States has completely fulfilled the necessary actions and surveillance requirements to again self-declare itself free from HPAI.

For the complete OiE report, please click on the Link below:

OiE — Highly pathogenic avian influenza, France

Report type Immediate notification
Date of start of the event 27/11/2015
Date of confirmation of the event 30/11/2015
Report date 02/12/2015
Date submitted to OIE 02/12/2015
Reason for notification New strain of a listed disease
Manifestation of disease Clinical disease
Causal agent Highly pathogenic avian influenza virus
Serotype H5N2
Nature of diagnosis Clinical, Laboratory (advanced)
This event pertains to the whole country

. . .
For the complete report, please see:

CDC Podcast — Novel Eurasian Highly Pathogenic Influenza A H5 Viruses in Wild Birds, Washington, USA, 2014

Sarah Gregory reads an abridged version of the article, Novel Eurasian Highly Pathogenic Influenza A H5 Viruses in Wild Birds, Washington, USA, 2014. Created: 3/24/2015 by National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID). Date Released: 4/13/2015. Series Name: Emerging Infectious Diseases.

APHIS – Epidemiologic and Other Analyses of HPAI-Affected Poultry Flocks: June 15, 2015 Report

Epidemiologic and Other Analyses of HPAI-Affected Poultry Flocks:
June 15, 2015 Report

For the past several months, the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) hasconducted epidemiological investigations and other studies with the goal of identifying transmissionpathways of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). This report includes the results to date ofinvestigations spanning more than 80 commercial poultry facilities, as well as other in-depth studiesand analyses performed with the assistance of academic, Federal, State, and industry partners.

APHIS will update this report regularly as more analyses are completed.

APHIS concludes that at present, there is not substantial or significant enough evidence to point to aspecific pathway or pathways for the current spread of the virus. We have collected data on the
characteristics and biosecurity measures of infected farms and studied wind and airborne viruses aspossible causes of viral spread, and conducted a genetic analysis of the viruses detected in the
United States.

APHIS scientists believe wild birds were responsible for introducing HPAI into commercial poultry. However, given the number and proximity of farms affected by HPAI, it appears the virus is spreading in other ways as well. For instance, one analysis provides evidence that a certain cluster of farms was affected by identical viruses, pointing to possible transmission among those farms. In
addition, genetic analyses of the HPAI viruses suggest that independent introductions as well astransmission between farms are occurring in several States concurrently.

Although APHIS cannot at present point to a single statistically significant pathway for the current spread of HPAI, a likely cause of some virus transmission is insufficient application of recommended
biosecurity practices. For example, APHIS has observed sharing of equipment between an infected and noninfected farm, employees moving between infected and noninfected farms, lack of cleaning
and disinfection of vehicles moving between farms, and reports of rodents or small wild birds inside poultry houses. We are compiling these observations and will present our findings in a subsequent
update of this report. Until then, USDA is collaborating with affected industries and States to implement more stringent biosecurity procedures while continuing to work on identifying and
mitigating other possible disease pathways in poultry farms nationwide.

Environmental factors may also play a part in transmitting HPAI. APHIS found that genetic material from the HPAI virus could be detected in air samples taken inside and outside infected poultry
houses, supporting the idea that the virus can be transmitted through air. Further reinforcing this concept is preliminary analysis of wind data that shows a relationship between sustained high winds
(25 mph or greater for 2 days or longer) and an increase in the number of infected farms 5 to 7 days later.

APHIS will continue to investigate how the HPAI virus is introduced and spread and will provide updated results regularly. Comprehensive and stringent biosecurity practices will remain crucial to
reducing the risk of HPAI infection.

Click HERE to read the complete APHIS Report:

DNR tests for virus in Minnesota.

The DNR is among five state and federal agencies responding to the state’s outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), which began March 2015, …

A lot is not known about the origin of this virus in Minnesota. DNR’s goal is to determine if wild birds are harboring the HPAI virus and learn as much as possible about it, thus providing any critical information that might aid in stopping the outbreak or preventing further spread.

Initially, DNR implemented a three-pronged approach to HPAI surveillance:
Collect waterfowl fecal samples throughout Minnesota;
Ask successful turkey hunters from Kandiyohi, Pope, Meeker, Swift and Stearns counties to submit their harvested bird for testing;
Collect dead birds of various species reported by the public.
DNR’s goal was to collect 3,000 waterfowl fecal samples, which was completed April 30. Staff collected half the samples within Board of Animal Health identified surveillance areas and half in areas not currently affected by HPAI. Staff located areas used by waterfowl or enticed waterfowl to bait sites and collected samples and location data. DNR staff did not enter infected farm properties and did not capture live waterfowl because landscape conditions changed daily. At the time of the outbreak, fecal collection was the most efficient and feasible surveillance method. The agency collected hunter-harvested turkeys through May 28, the end of the spring season. Staff will continue to collect other dead birds reported by the public during the emergency.
While this virus is new, DNR conducted extensive HPAI surveillance from 2006-2010, when more than 12,000 birds were tested and no HPAI virus was detected, …

Click HERE for the complete Minnesota DNR post.

CIDRAP — Diverse avian flu strains hit UK, Taiwan, South Africa

Robert Roos | News Editor | CIDRAP News | Jul 13, 2015

Several varieties of avian influenza viruses have recently struck farms in the United Kingdom, Taiwan, and South Africa, affecting poultry species ranging from chickens to ostriches, according to reports today.

In addition, Minnesota officials said recently that a chickadee tested positive for an avian flu virus, but they couldn’t determine if it was the highly pathogenic H5N2 virus that hit 108 turkey and chicken farms in the state this past spring.

H7N7 reported in England
In the United Kingdom, a highly pathogenic H7N7 virus struck a farm in the northwestern English county of Lancashire, according to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

The agency announced the outbreak Jul 10 and confirmed today that the virus is H7N7. The statement didn’t identify the type of poultry involved, but a Daily Mail story today said 170,000 chickens and turkeys were being euthanized at a farm near the village of Goosnargh.

DEFRA imposed a 3-kilometer protection zone and a 10-kilometer surveillance zone around the outbreak. Chief Veterinary Officer Nigel Gibbens said humane culling of the birds is progressing. Meanwhile, Public Health England said the H7N7 strain poses very little risk to humans.

The last previous H7N7 outbreak reported in the UK involved a low-pathogenic strain that surfaced in Hampshire, on England’s southern coast, in February, according to previous CIDRAP News reports.

Taiwan battles H5N2 again
Taiwan has had three more in a long series of highly pathogenic H5N2 outbreaks that began in January, authorities told the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) in a report today.

The outbreaks involve a chicken farm in Changhua county and a turkey farm in Yunlin county, both in the west-central part of the island, and a goose farm in the southwestern city of Kaohsiung, the report said.

The virus killed 5,527 of 25,640 birds on the three farms, and the rest have already been culled to prevent any further spread, the report said. The farms have been cleaned and disinfected, and other farms within 3 kilometers will be under special surveillance for 3 months.

Ostrich farms hit in South Africa
In another report to the OIE, South African officials said a low-pathogenic H5N2 virus has surfaced on four ostrich farms, two each in Western Cape Province and Eastern Cape Province.

Officials said 868 of 4,557 ostriches on the farms were sick, but there were only 10 deaths, all on one farm in Eastern Cape province. The farms were quarantined, but none of the birds were euthanized, according to the report.

The latest H5N2 outbreaks are listed as part of a series that dates back to August 2014.

Infected chickadee
In Minnesota, an H5 virus was identified in a chickadee that was turned in to a wildlife rehabilitation center Jun 10, the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said in a Jul 10 press release. It represents the second detection of an H5 virus in a Minnesota wild bird this year. The bird was found in Ramsey County, which includes St. Paul.

Lou Cornicelli, PhD, DNR wildlife research manager, said in the release that the finding is the first detection of avian flu in a Minnesota songbird. “This is further evidence that while waterfowl species can serve as a reservoir for avian influenza, other species are susceptible to the disease.”

He said the DNR doesn’t know where or how the chickadee was infected, “but these results highlight the complexity of how this virus is spread.” He added that the laboratory that tested the bird was unable to determine the precise virus strain.

In April the DNR reported finding the highly pathogenic H5N2 virus in a Cooper’s hawk in Yellow Medicine County, the first detection of the virus in a wild bird in Minnesota. The virus was not found in any of more than 600 wild geese tested by the DNR this year.

DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr said the agency is seeking more information about the chickadee and plans to expand testing of ducks and geese, including hunter-killed birds, this summer and fall.

Click HERE for the complete CIDRAP post.