J Wildl Dis.: Active surveillance for avian influenza virus infection in wild birds by analysis of avian fecal samples from the environment.
Article Type: Brief article
Subject: Avian influenza (Distribution)
Wildlife diseases (Distribution)
Authors: Pannwitz, G.
Wolf, C.
Harder, T.
Pub Date: 06/01/2009
Publication: Name: Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery Publisher: Association of Avian Veterinarians Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2009 Association of Avian Veterinarians ISSN: 1082-6742
Issue: Date: June, 2009 Source Volume: 23 Source Issue: 2
Topic: Event Code: 690 Goods & services distribution; 310 Science & research Advertising Code: 59 Channels of Distribution Computer Subject: Company distribution practices
Geographic: Geographic Scope: Germany Geographic Code: 4EUGE Germany
Accession Number: 252006966
Full Text: A total of 1991 environmental samples of fresh avian feces and urine from several aquatic bird species in a coastal area of northeast Germany were examined for the presence of avian influenza viruses (AIV). By realtime reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, specific for an M gene of influenza A viruses, none of 659 duck samples and only 11 (0.9%) of 1268 geese and swan samples tested positive. Two of these were identified as H5N2 viruses of low pathogenicity.

Conventional cloacal and oropharyngeal swab samples (n = 1402) collected in an adjacent coastal region in northeast Germany from comparable species of captured or hunted birds yielded a similar detection rate (3/ 901 [0.4%]) for AIV-specific RNA in geese and swans but a higher rate (4/309 [1%]) for ducks. No virus isolates were obtained from either set of samples. Collection of environmental avian samples was simple and cost effective, and also allowed us to regulate sample sizes over time. A species assignment of these samples was possible, provided that close presampling observation of birds at the sampling sites was secured. Environmental sampling to monitor AIV in wild bird populations may be a valid alternative to the more-invasive and capturedependent methods based on cloacal sampling.

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