Submitted to: Emerging Infectious Diseases
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/26/2008
Publication Date: 9/26/2008
Citation: Peterson, A.T., Bush, S.E., Spackman, E., Swayne, D.E., Hon, S. 2008. Influenza A virus infections in land birds, People's Republic of China. Emerging Infectious Diseases. 14(10):1644-1646. Interpretive Summary: Wild birds are a primary reservoir of avian influenza virus and among wild birds, waterfowl and shorebirds are considered to be the most important. However little is known about the prevalence or ecology of influenza in song bird species, although rare isolations have been made and have been attributed to contact with infected poultry. In this study song bird species were sampled in Southern China and were tested with molecular methods to detect avian influenza virus. A total of 610 birds of 135 species were tested and 21 were positive indicating that avian influenza virus in present in song bird populations in Southern China.
Technical Abstract: The present assumption is that waterbirds are the primary reservoir for avian influenza (AI) viruses. We reexamined this assumption by sampling and real-time RT-PCR testing of 610 Asian birds of 135 species. We showed that influenza A infections are common among non-waterbird species, emphasizing a need for reexamination of AI surveillance programs designed to monitor the spread of AI viruses.