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Airborne Transmission of Highly Pathogenic Influenza Virus during Processing of Infected Poultry
- David Swayne, Kateri Bertran, Charles Balzli, Yong-Kuk Kwon, Terrence Tumpey, Andrew Clark
- Emerging infectious diseases 2017 v.23 no.11 pp. 1806-1814
- Influenza A virus, aerosols, air, airborne pathogens, airborne transmission, avian influenza, chickens, disease transmission, droplets, ducks, ferrets, humans, markets, slaughter, viruses
- Exposure to infected poultry is a suspected cause of avian influenza (H5N1) virus infections in humans. We detected infectious droplets and aerosols during laboratory-simulated processing of asymptomatic chickens infected with human- (clades 1 and 2.2.1) and avian- (clades 1.1, 2.2, and 2.1) origin H5N1 viruses. We detected fewer airborne infectious particles in simulated processing of infected ducks. Influenza virus–naive chickens and ferrets exposed to the air space in which virus-infected chickens were processed became infected and died, suggesting that the slaughter of infected chickens is an efficient source of airborne virus that can infect birds and mammals. We did not detect consistent infections in ducks and ferrets exposed to the air space in which virus-infected ducks were processed. Our results support the hypothesis that airborne transmission of HPAI viruses can occur among poultry and from poultry to humans during home or live-poultry market slaughter of infected poultry.