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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: Lessons learned from research and surveillance directed at highly pathogenic influenza A viruses in wild birds inhabiting North America

Author
item Ramey, Andrew - Us Geological Survey (USGS)
item Deliberto, Thomas - Animal And Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS), National Wildlife Center
item Berhane, Yohannes - Canadian Food Inspection Agency
item Swayne, David
item Stallknecht, David - University Of Georgia

Submitted to: Virology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/2/2018
Publication Date: 5/1/2018
Citation: Ramey, A.M., Deliberto, T.J., Berhane, Y., Swayne, D.E., Stallknecht, D.E. 2018. Lessons learned from research and surveillance directed at highly pathogenic influenza A viruses in wild birds inhabiting North America. Virology. 518:55-63. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.virol.2018.02.002.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.virol.2018.02.002

Interpretive Summary: A deadly or highly pathogenic (HP) avian influenza (AI) viruses emerged in Asia in the early 1990’s causing poultry and wild bird infections and deaths. Intensive wild bird sampling throughout North America failed to detect the Asia HPAI viruses until 2014 when a devastating outbreak of the Asian HPAI occurred in wild birds and poultry. Five important lessons learned included: (1) wild birds disperse AI viruses between North America and adjacent regions via migration, (2) HPAI viruses may be introduced to wild birds in North America, (3) HPAI viruses can cross the wild bird-poultry interface in North America, (4) the probability of encountering and detecting a specific AI virus may be low, and (5) preexisting immunity to AI in wild birds may reduce the ability of HPAI virus to cause outbreaks.

Technical Abstract: Following detections of highly pathogenic (HP) influenza A viruses (IAVs) in wild birds inhabiting East Asia after the turn of the millennium, the intensity of sampling of wild birds for IAVs increased throughout much of North America and the objectives for many research and surveillance efforts were directed towards detecting Eurasian origin HP IAVs and/or understanding the potential of such viruses to be maintained and dispersed by wild birds. In this review, we highlight five important lessons learned from research and surveillance directed at HP IAVs in wild birds inhabiting North America: (1) Wild birds disperse IAVs between North America and adjacent regions via migration, (2) HP IAVs may be introduced to wild birds in North America, (3) HP IAVs can cross the wild bird-poultry interface in North America, (4) The probability of encountering and detecting a specific virus may be low, and (5) Population immunity of wild birds may influence HP IAV outbreaks in North America. We review empirical support derived from research and surveillance efforts for each lesson learned and, furthermore, identify implications for future surveillance efforts, biosecurity, and population health. We conclude our review by identifying five additional areas in which we think future mechanistic research relative to IAVs in wild birds in North America are likely lead to other important lessons learned in the years ahead.