Main content area

Ducks Are Susceptible to Infection with a Range of Doses of H5N8 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Virus (2016, Clade and Are Largely Resistant to Virus-Specific Mortality, but Efficiently Transmit Infection to Contact Turkeys

Slomka, Marek J., Puranik, Anita, Mahmood, Sahar, Thomas, Saumya S., Seekings, Amanda H., Byrne, Alexander M. P., Núñez, Alejandro, Bianco, Carlo, Mollett, Benjamin C., Watson, Samantha, Brown, Ian H., Brookes, Sharon M.
Avian diseases 2018 v.63 no.sp1 pp. 172-180
Influenza A virus, Pekin, antibodies, disease susceptibility, ducks, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, hemagglutination, models, monitoring, mortality, poultry diseases, turkeys, waterfowl, wild birds, winter, Europe
Widespread H5N8 highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAIV; clade infections occurred in wild birds and poultry across Europe during winter 2016–17. Four different doses of H5N8 HPAIV (A/wigeon/Wales/052833/2016 [wg-Wal-16]) were used to infect 23 Pekin ducks divided into four separate pens, with three contact turkeys introduced for cohousing per pen at 1 day postinfection (dpi). All doses resulted in successful duck infection, with four sporadic mortalities recorded among the 23 (17%) infected ducks, which appeared unrelated to the dose. The ducks transmitted wg-Wal-16 efficiently to the contact turkeys; all 12 (100%) turkeys died. Systemic viral dissemination was detected in multiple organs in two duck mortalities, with limited viral dissemination in another duck, which died after resolution of shedding. Systemic viral tropism was observed in two of the turkeys. The study demonstrated the utility of Pekin ducks as surrogates of infected waterfowl to model the wild bird/gallinaceous poultry interface for introduction of H5N8 HPAIV into terrestrial poultry, where contact turkeys served as a susceptible host. Detection of H5N8-specific antibody up to 58 dpi assured the value of serologic surveillance in farmed ducks by hemagglutination inhibition and anti-nucleoprotein ELISAs.