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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 #434899

Research Project: The Study of Influenza A Viruses in Avian Species

Location: Exotic & Emerging Avian Viral Diseases Research

Project Number: 6040-32000-066-48-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement

Start Date: Jun 1, 2018
End Date: May 31, 2023

The purpose of this Interagency Reimbursable Agreement (IRA) is to study influenza A viruses in avian species and to support the cost of publishing related conference proceedings. The studies will include analysis of host response of various avian species, particularly chickens to influenza viruses with a research focus on the pathology and or antibody response to wild type and or candidate vaccine viruses (CVV). The following studies will be performed to assess the pathogenicity and infectivity of reassortants and their respective parental wild type viruses. 1. Determine in vivo pathotype of wild type and reassortant vaccine candidate strains in chickens or other suitable avian host species. 2. Assess in vivo infectivity and pathogenicity in birds using simulated natural route of exposure (intranasal; i.n.). 3. Understand the host response to various influenza A viruses in different avian species, with particular emphasis on obtaining sera for antigenic characterization.

Studies will be conducted in BSL-3 Enhanced facilities. Multiple vaccine candidates will be tested per year using the below study design: 1. Conduct in vivo pathotype of wild type and reassortant vaccine candidate strains using avian species by intravenous inoculation and pathotype determination by intravenous pathogenicity index using illness and death as scoring parameters. 2. Conduct in vivo infectivity and pathogenicity testing in avian species via intransal inoculation. Infectivity will be assessed by virus shedding from oral and cloacal swabs taken on days 2 or 3 post inoculation. Tissues tropism and pathogenesis will be assessed by examination for virus in brain, lung, heart and kidney from birds that die with a maximum of two birds examined per group, and perform histological examination of tissues from infected birds. In addition, infectivity will be assessed by testing for seroconversion using AGID or ELISA when chickens are terminated at the end of the study (10 DPI). 3. Conduct in vivo experiments in avian species with various influenza A viruses to compare and contrast the avian host response using multiple laboratory assays.