Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/15/2007
Publication Date: 3/1/2008
Citation: Spackman, E., Suarez, D.L., Senne, D. 2008. Avian influenza diagnostics and surveillance methods. In: Swayne, D.E., editor. Avian Influenza Virus. Ames, IA: Blackwell. p. 299-308.
Technical Abstract: The clinical presentation of avian influenza (AI) varies by virus strain and host species. The clinical disease and lesions the virus produces in poultry are not pathognomonic for avian influenza; therefore, diagnosis of AI virus (AIV) infection requires a laboratory test. Detection of AIV infection or exposure may be accomplished by isolating the virus in eggs or cell cultures, or through the detection of viral protein, viral nucleic acid or antibody to AIV in the animal being tested. Diagnostic tests for AIV can be classified as type A specific, meaning they can identify any type A influenza virus of avian and mammalian origin, or the test can be subtype specific and will only detect a specific subtype (or antibodies to a specific subtype). Subtype specific tests most often target the H5 and H7 hemagglutinin (H) subtypes because of their potential to be highly pathogenic (HP) in gallinaceous poultry. For poultry numerous tests have been described for both virus and antibody detection (Table 1). Selection and use of diagnostic tests depends upon application as well as factors such as cost, sensitivity, specificity, speed, complexity, and the availability of human resources as well as materials and test reagents. This chapter will outline the most widely available and frequently used tests for detecting AIV and antibody to AIV. Additional tests routinely used for in depth characterization of a virus isolate will also be briefly discussed.