Submitted to: American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: July 26, 2006
Publication Date: October 14, 2006
Citation: Das, A., Spackman, E., Swayne, D.E., Suarez, D.L. 2006. Detection of H5N1 in meat samples from experimentally infected chickens [abstract]. American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians. p. 40. Technical Abstract: The Asian H5N1 highly pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) virus is a major threat to the poultry industry and is potentially zoonotic. In this study we monitored the infection of H5N1 in different meat samples (breast, thigh and heart) and tracheal swabs of infected chickens at different time points after inoculation with the Asian H5N1 HPAI virus A/WhooperSwan/Mongolia/244/05. Birds were sampled every 6 hours for 48 hours, with at least 10 birds being samples at each time point. At the earlier time points and prior to the development of any clinical sign, birds were euthanized, and at later time points, sick or dead birds were examined preferentially. The tracheal swabs were evaluated for the detection of the virus by real-time RT-PCR (RRT-PCR), and with a commercially available AIV antigen capture test (FluDetect, Symbiotics). The meat samples were analyzed by an RRT-PCR test with a modified RNA extraction protocol and by virus isolation in embryonating chicken eggs. The virus was sporadically detected in meat and the tracheas of infected birds without any clinical signs of disease as early as 6 hrs post inoculation (PI), and was found in 100% of birds tested at each time point 24 hours PI and later. Similar results were seen among all meat sample types, but the heart had a higher concentration of virus in the early stages of infection (between 24 and 30 hrs PI), while breast and thigh meat had a higher concentration of virus in the later stages of infection (between 36 to 48 hrs PI). This study describes a rapid and sensitive method for the detection of HPAI virus in meat samples, which in conjunction with tracheal swabbing can provide an increased assurance for early detection of AIV in infected poultry.