Submitted to: International Symposium on Avian Influenza
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/20/2009
Publication Date: 4/5/2009
Citation: Brown, J.D., Stallkneght, D., Swayne, D.E. 2009. H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza virus experimental infection trials in wild birds: what have we learned and what questions remain [abstract]. Abstracts of the 7th International Symposium on Avian Influenza, April 5-8, 2009, Athens, Georgia. p. 42.
Technical Abstract: Prior to 2002, there were very few reports of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus infections in wild birds. Since 2002; however, a variety of wild avian species have died from infection with Asian lineage H5N1 HPAI viruses and a growing body of evidence suggests migratory waterfowl may have an increased role in the epidemiology of these viruses. Over the last decade, several experimental infection trials have been conducted to provide objective data on susceptibility, viral shedding, and pathobiology of H5N1 HPAI viruses in different avian species. These data have provided insight into the nature of the role that wild birds play in the epidemiology of H5N1 HPAI and have been useful for interpreting field observations. The results of these studies indicate that many avian species experimentally exposed to recent H5N1 HPAI viruses are susceptible to infection, but clinical disease and viral shedding are highly variable and dependent on virus strain, host species, and several other host factors. Collectively, the existing experimental and field data suggest that certain wild avian species could, and likely have, contributed to the transmission and long-distance spread of H5N1 HPAI in some outbreaks. However, the risk factors associated with the transmission, movement, and maintenance of H5N1 HPAI viruses in wild avian populations are not completely clear and gaps in our understanding still remain.