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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Athens, Georgia » U.S. National Poultry Research Center » Exotic & Emerging Avian Viral Diseases Research » Research » Research Project #432174

Research Project: Transmission of Influenza Viruses to Turkeys

Location: Exotic & Emerging Avian Viral Diseases Research

Project Number: 6040-32000-066-33-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jan 10, 2017
End Date: Aug 30, 2018

To assess the transmission potential of influenza virus of diverse-origin into turkeys and to determine the biological and genetic parameters important for interspecies transmission.

Objective 1. Experimental infection of turkeys with different influenza strains. The infectivity, replication and transmission efficiency of relevant influenza strains will be assessed in turkeys: 10-12 influenza strains will be tested in 2-3 week old turkeys. Regarding transmission, the correlation between transmission efficiency and sustained viral shedding in the cloaca and trachea will be assessed. Inoculation, sample collection, pathology, etc. will be done as previously established. Based on the results obtained from juvenile turkeys, 4-5 strains will be selected to conduct similar study in 26-30 week-old turkey hens in egg production. The viral load in different portions of the oviduct and the eggs laid by the infected turkey hens will also be determined. Objective 2. Determination of commensal microbiota shift during influenza virus infection. To better define the pathogenesis in relation to the commensal microbiota, the contributions of the commensal respiratory and intestinal microbiota towards the establishment of disease in turkeys will be established. Two strains will be selected and 1) define the commensal microbiota of experimental birds; and 2) identify how the respiratory or intestinal microbiome shifts prior to, during the establishment of influenza infection, and following clearance of the virus.