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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 #435724

Research Project: Avian Influenza Virus Transmission and Control in Avian Species

Location: Exotic & Emerging Avian Viral Diseases Research

Project Number: 6040-32000-066-50-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement

Start Date: Oct 1, 2018
End Date: Sep 30, 2020

1. Identify host-specific factors in relevant avian species that are associated with the infectivity, pathogenicity and transmissibility of influenza A viruses (IAVs) of concern. 2. Identify virus-specific factors and viral molecular markers associated with infectivity, pathogenicity and transmissibility of influenza viruses in domestic avian species, and acquisition of molecular markers of mammalian adaptation in lineages that are endemic in poultry. 3. Evaluate the role of vaccination of poultry in transmission of IAVs to vaccinated and naïve controls with an emphasis on comparing vaccines that are antigenically matched and mismatched to the challenge virus. 4. Continue to provide scientific support for the National institutes of Health-Centers of Excellence in influenza Research and Surveillance research/surveillance studies by conducting safety tests in avian models as needed.

Domestic avian species are important sources of zoonotic influenza A viruses (IAV). Human infections with avian influenza viruses are highly correlated with contact with infected poultry. IAVs that transmit easily in poultry and that cause no or mild disease in poultry are of most concern. The overall goal of this project is to investigate the pathogenesis and transmission of IAVs in domestic avian and wild bird species. We aim to evaluate virus strains from current lineages of concern to public health (e.g. Anhui/2013 H7N9, G1 and other lineage H9N2, North American swine influenza viruses [SIV], goose/Guangdong/1996 H5), but can shift focus to novel emerging lineages if needed. As of yet, these avian lineages have not adapted well to human-to-human transmission. However, as these lineages continue to circulate in domestic (and wild) avian species there is an ongoing risk of reassortment with seasonal influenza or de novo adaptation to humans. These studies are necessary to provide biological data that will contribute to reducing the risk to public health by improving control in critical IAV reservoir species.