Submitted to: Emerging Infectious Diseases
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/26/2003
Publication Date: 5/1/2004
Citation: Swayne, D.E., Suarez, D.L., Spackman, E., Tumpey, T., Beck, J.R., Erdman, D., Rollin, P.E., Ksiazek, T.G. 2004. Sars - Coronavirus Does Not Cause Disease or Infection in Experimentally Inoculated Domestic Poultry. Emerging Infectious Diseases 10(5):914-916, 2004. Interpretive Summary: Severe Acute Respiratory Diseases (SARS) emerged as a new disease in people during 2002. The disease is caused by a new coronavirus, but the source of the virus is unknown. Some studies suggest animals may have been the source. We did an experimental study to determine if domestic poultry could be infected with this new virus and serve as hosts in spreading the virus to humans. When given the human SARS virus in the trachea, chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese and Japanese quail were not infected and remained healthy. We could not identify any growth of the SARS virus in poultry. This suggests poultry were not infected and did not spread the SARS virus to humans.
Technical Abstract: SARS-coronavirus inoculated intratracheally into chickens, turkeys, geese, ducks and quail failed to cause disease or replicate. In addition, inoculation of embryonating chicken and turkey eggs via yolk or allantoic sac failed to produce a productive infection. What was believed to be residual inoculum was detected by real-time RT-PCR (RRT-PCR) and standard RT-PCR in oropharyngeal swabs from two chickens on day 1 post inoculation and in the embryonating chicken and turkey embryos. This study suggests that domestic poultry were unlikely to have been associated with replication and dissemination of SARS-coronavirus in the animal markets of southern China and Hong Kong.