Skip to main content
ARS Home » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #250745

Title: Novel route of exposure explains outbreaks of pH1N1 influenza in turkeys

item Pantin Jackwood, Mary
item Swayne, David
item Spackman, Erica
item Suarez, David
item Wasilenko, Jamie
item Kapczynski, Darrell

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/19/2010
Publication Date: 4/18/2010
Citation: Pantin Jackwood, M.J., Swayne, D.E., Spackman, E., Suarez, D.L., Wasilenko, J.L., Kapczynski, D.R. 2010. Novel route of exposure explains outbreaks of pH1N1 influenza in turkeys [abstract]. Swine Origin H1N1 Virus: The First Pandemic of the 21st Century meeting, April 18-20, 2010, Atlanta, Georgia.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The presence of avian and swine influenza virus genes in the 2009 novel H1N1 pandemic virus (pH1N1) raises the potential for infection in poultry following exposure to infected humans or swine. This is especially true for turkeys because of their known susceptibility to type A influenza viruses and the history of infection with triple reassortant viruses. To study infectivity and transmissibility of the pH1N1 virus in poultry, turkeys, chickens, domestic ducks and Japanese quail were intranasally challenged with a pH1N1 virus. No clinical disease was produced, detection of virus replication was infrequent and only in the oropharyngeal swabs of intranasally inoculated Japanese quail. There was no contact transmission of the viruses for any of the species. This initial study suggested turkeys, chickens, and domestic duck have low risk for field infection, but Japanese quail might become infected. As in this study, several others showed that turkeys were resistant to infection when the virus was given through the intranasal route, which is considered the natural route of infection. However, outbreaks of pH1N1 have been reported in turkey breeder farms in Chile, Canada, Pennsylvania, California and France all presenting drops in egg production. In a second study, laying turkey hens were inoculated by the intranasal, intracloacal, and intrauterine route with a pH1N1 virus and it was demonstrated that the virus can infect turkeys by the intracloacal and intrauterine route, but not the intranasal route. Replication of the virus in the reproductive tract of turkey hens after intrauterine inoculation caused decreased egg production but no clinical signs. Such a route of exposure is realistic in modern turkey production when turkey hens are handled for intrauterine insemination in order to produce fertile eggs and could explain the introduction of the virus into turkey flocks.