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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 #338847

Research Project: Intervention Strategies to Prevent and Control Disease Outbreaks Caused by Emerging Strains of Avian Influenza Viruses

Location: Exotic & Emerging Avian Viral Diseases Research

Title: Airborne transmission of highly pathogenic influenza virus during processing of infected poultry

Author
item Bertran, Kateri - Consultant
item Balzli, Charles
item Kwon, Yong-kuk - Animal And Plant Quarantine Agency
item Tumpey, Terrence - Centers For Disease Control And Prevention (CDCP) - Canada
item Clark, Andrew - Consultant
item Swayne, David

Submitted to: Emerging Infectious Diseases
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/4/2017
Publication Date: 11/1/2017
Citation: Bertran, K., Balzli, C.L., Kwon, Y., Tumpey, T.M., Clark, A., Swayne, D.E. 2017. Airborne transmission of highly pathogenic influenza virus during processing of infected poultry. Emerging Infectious Diseases. 23(11):1806-1814. https://doi.org/10.3201/eid2311.170672.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3201/eid2311.170672

Interpretive Summary: Human infections with H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus have occurred following visits to live poultry markets (LPM) within some developing countries. In this study, we demonstrated that processing of HPAI virus infected chickens in a high biocontainment laboratory to emulate a LPM produced virus in the air, and chickens and ferrets breathing this air became infected and died. Processing of infected ducks was less likely to produce virus in the air and reduced the transmission of HPAI virus to others ducks or ferrets. These results demonstrate the mechanism where by poultry and humans become infected through visits to live poultry markets.

Technical Abstract: Human infections with H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus occur following exposure to virus-infected poultry, often during the slaughter processes. Infectious virus within bioaerosols was detected during laboratory-simulated processing of asymptomatic chickens infected with human- (clades 1 and 2.2.1) and avian-origin (clades 1.1, 2.2, and 2.1) H5N1 viruses. In contrast, the processing of infected ducks was less efficient in generating infectious virus within bioaerosols. Naïve chickens and ferrets exposed to the same air space during the processing of virus-infected chickens became infected and died, suggesting that the slaughter of infected chickens is an efficient source of exposure to avian and mammalian hosts. In contrast, naïve ducks and ferrets exposed to the same air space during processing of virus-infected ducks produced inconsistent infections. The results support a role for airborne transmission of HPAI viruses among poultry and from poultry to humans during home or live-poultry market slaughter processes.