Start Date: Aug 30, 2013
End Date: Aug 31, 2016
During the past five years the ARS-SEPRL laboratory has collaborated with Mexico in research projects aimed at understanding the ecology of Newcastle Disease and Avian Influenza. As a result of those collaborations a shift in the genomic characteristics of circulating NDV and H5 AIV in Mexico has been identified in viruses circulating since 2002 and more more recently evidence of spillover of NDV from poultry into wild birds has been found. In addition we have collaborated in the characterization of avian influenza viruses of the H5 and H7 serotypes. We have a very close collaboration with Dr. Roberto Navarro Lopez from the Dirección General de Salud Animal (DGSA)-SENASICA. The current project proposes to establish a collaborative research program between ARS-SEPRL, SENASICA to better understand the epidemiology and control possibilities of significant avian viral diseases in Mexico. We will develop a sampling protocol in the areas where NDV and Avian Influenza are highly prevalent. Backyard poultry, wild birds, live bird markets, and resident wild bird located in the proximity and within poultry production facilities will be sampled both during and between clinical outbreaks in a longitudinal study to identify the strains of viruses circulating in wild birds that have a possibility of getting in contact with vaccinated animals. We will determine the the rate of infection in the different regions and animal populations by conducting serological surveys and swab testing in various environments representing the productions systems in Mexico. Swab samples will be tested by real-time PCR and virus isolation and serological samples will be characterized by ELISA testing to detect antibodies against NDV and AIV. Strains obtained from acute and persistent or subclinical infections will be genetically characterized in a collaborative manner between ARS-SEPRL, and SENASICA by sequencing. Data analysis will be performed in close collaboration among both laboratories. SENASICA laboratory personnel will be trained at ARS-SEPRL on various techniques for virus detection and molecular epidemiological analysis. Samples will be sent to ARS-SEPRL for sequencing and as SENASICA develops capacity additional molecular epidemiology analysis will be done onsite. Data analysis and publications will be carried out in a collaborative manner between SENASICA and ARS-SEPRL.