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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Athens, Georgia » U.S. National Poultry Research Center » Exotic & Emerging Avian Viral Diseases Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #301220

Research Project: Intervention Strategies to Control and Prevent Disease Outbreaks Caused by Avian Influenza and Other Emerging Poultry Pathogens

Location: Exotic & Emerging Avian Viral Diseases Research

Title: Survivability of Eurasian H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses in water varies between strains

Author
item Brown, Justin - University Of Georgia
item Stallknecht, David - University Of Georgia
item Lebarbenchon, Camille - University Of Georgia
item Swayne, David

Submitted to: Avian Diseases
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/4/2014
Publication Date: 3/15/2014
Publication URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/60142
Citation: Brown, J., Stallknecht, D., Lebarbenchon, C., Swayne, D.E. 2014. Survivability of Eurasian H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses in water varies between strains. Avian Diseases. 58:453-457.

Interpretive Summary: Lakes and other natural bodies of water play a critical role in maintaining and spreading the mild forms, or low pathogenicity avian influenza (LPAI), viruses in wild waterfowl, but a similar role of these bodies of water for H5N1 deadly, or highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), viruses is unknown. Using an established laboratory model system, 11 strains of H5N1 HPAI virus was examined for survivability under different simulated environmental conditions. The H5N1 HPAI virus strains responded similarly to LPAI viruses in different water temperatures and levels of salt, with all viruses being most stable at colder temperatures and fresh to brackish salinities. Our conclusion is H5N1 HPAI viruses have similar stabilities in water to LPAI viruses, and suggest there has been no change in environmental survival of H5N1 HPAI viruses.

Technical Abstract: Aquatic habitats play critical role in the transmission and maintenance of low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) viruses in wild waterfowl; however the importance of these environments in the ecology of H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) viruses is unknown. In laboratory-based studies, LPAI viruses can remain infective for extended durations (months) in water, but the persistence is strongly dependent on water conditions (temperature, salinity, pH) and virus strain. Little is known about the stability of H5N1 HPAI viruses in water. Using an established laboratory model system, the persistence of 11 strains of H5N1 HPAI virus was measured in buffered distilled water (pH 7.2) at two temperatures (17° and 28° C) and three salinities (0, 15,000, and 30,000 ppm). There was extensive variation between the 11 H5N1 HPAI virus strains in the overall stability in water, with a range similar to what has been reported for wild bird-origin LPAI viruses. The H5N1 HPAI virus strains responded similarly to different water temperatures and salinities, with all viruses being most stable at colder temperatures and fresh to brackish salinities. These results indicate that the overall stability and response of H5N1 HPAI viruses in water is similar to LPAI viruses, and suggest there has been no loss of environmental fitness in H5N1 HPAI viruses.