Susceptibility of North American ducks and gulls to H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses

Justin D. Brown, David E. Stallknecht, Joan R. Beck, David L. Suarez, David E. Swayne

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254 Scopus citations


Since 2002, H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) viruses have been associated with deaths in numerous wild avian species throughout Eurasia. We assessed the clinical response and extent and duration of viral shedding in 5 species of North American ducks and laughing gulls (Larus atricilla) after intranasal challenge with 2 Asian H5N1 HPAI viruses. Birds were challenged at ≈10 to 16 weeks of age, consistent with temporal peaks in virus prevalence and fall migration. All species were infected, but only wood ducks (Aix sponsa) and laughing gulls exhibited illness or died. Viral titers were higher in oropharyngeal swabs than in cloacal swabs. Duration of viral shedding (1-10 days) increased with severity of clinical disease. Both the hemagglutination- inhibition (HI) and agar gel precipitin (AGP) tests were able to detect postinoculation antibodies in surviving wood ducks and laughing gulls; the HI test was more sensitive than the AGP in the remaining 4 species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1663-1670
Number of pages8
JournalEmerging infectious diseases
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Epidemiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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