Skip to main content
ARS Home » Midwest Area » Ames, Iowa » National Animal Disease Center » Virus and Prion Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #343656

Research Project: Intervention Strategies to Control Influenza A Virus Infection in Swine

Location: Virus and Prion Research

Title: Surveillance for highly pathogenic H5 avian influenza virus in synanthropic wildlife associated with poultry farms during an acute outbreak

Author
item Shriner, S - Animal And Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS), National Wildlife Center
item Root, J - Animal And Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS), National Wildlife Center
item Lutman, M - Animal And Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS), National Wildlife Center
item Kloft, J - Animal And Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS), National Wildlife Center
item Vandalen, K - Animal And Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS), National Wildlife Center
item Sullivan, H - Animal And Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS), National Wildlife Center
item White, T - Animal And Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS), National Wildlife Center
item Milleson, M - Animal And Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS), National Wildlife Center
item Hairston, J - Animal And Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS), National Wildlife Center
item Chandler, S - Animal And Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS), National Wildlife Center
item Vincent, Amy

Submitted to: Scientific Reports
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/12/2016
Publication Date: 11/4/2016
Citation: Shriner, S.A., Root, J.J., Lutman, M.W., Kloft, J.M., VanDalen, K.K., Sullivan, H.J., White, T.S., Milleson, M.P., Hairston, J.L., Chandler, S.C., Wolf, P.C., Turnage, C.T., McCluskey, B.J., Vincent, A.L., Torchetti, M.K., Gidlewski, T., DeLiberto, T.J. 2016. Surveillance for highly pathogenic H5 avian influenza virus in synanthropic wildlife associated with poultry farms during an acute outbreak. Scientific Reports. 6:36237. doi: 10.1038/srep36237.

Interpretive Summary: Mammals captured near infected poultry farms lack evidence of exposure to 2014-2015 highly pathogenic avian influenza virus. In 2014 and early 2015, a Eurasian strain of highly pathogenic avian influenza A (HPAI) virus was detected in poultry in Canada and the United States, causing a large economic loss to the poultry industry and tremendous investment by the industry and USDA officials to control the outbreak. In an effort to understand the spread of the Eurasian H5 virus, epidemiologic investigations occurred at poultry facilities. Birds and mammals near infected and uninfected poultry farms in northwest Iowa were sampled by APHIS and ARS researchers at Ames, Iowa for evidence of infection with HPAI H5. No mammal species showed evidence of infection or exposure, but a very small number of European starlings were found to have evidence of infection. These results indicate species that cohabitate with humans and their domestic animals merit further scrutiny to better understand potential biosecurity risks to HPAI outbreaks.

Technical Abstract: In November 2014, a Eurasian strain H5N8 highly pathogenic avian influenza virus was detected in poultry in Canada. Introduced viruses were soon detected in the United States and within six months had spread to 21 states with more than 48 million poultry affected. In an effort to study potential mechanisms of spread of the Eurasian H5 virus, the United States Department of Agriculture coordinated several epidemiologic investigations at poultry farms. As part of those efforts, we sampled synanthropic birds and mammals at five infected and five uninfected poultry farms in northwest Iowa for exposure to avian influenza viruses. Across all farms, we collected 2,627 samples from 648 individual birds and mammals. House mice were the most common mammal species captured while house sparrows, European starlings, rock pigeons, swallows, and American robins were the most commonly captured birds. A single European starling was positive for Eurasian H5 viral RNA and seropositive for antibodies reactive to the Eurasian H5 virus. Two American robins were also seropositive. No mammal species showed evidence of infection. These results indicate synanthropic species merit further scrutiny to better understand potential biosecurity risks. We propose a set of management practices aimed at reducing wildlife incursions.