Susceptibility of Canada Geese (Branta canadensis) to Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Virus (H5N1)

Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
Emerging infectious diseases (Impact Factor: 6.75). 01/2008; 13(12):1821-7. DOI: 10.3201/eid1312.070502
Source: PubMed


Migratory birds have been implicated in the long-range spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) A virus (H5N1) from Asia to Europe and Africa. Although sampling of healthy wild birds representing a large number of species has not identified possible carriers of influenza virus (H5N1) into Europe, surveillance of dead and sick birds has demonstrated mute (Cygnus olor) and whooper (C. cygnus) swans as potential sentinels. Because of concerns that migratory birds could spread H5N1 subtype to the Western Hemisphere and lead to its establishment within free-living avian populations, experimental studies have addressed the susceptibility of several indigenous North American duck and gull species. We examined the susceptibility of Canada geese (Branta canadensis) to HPAI virus (H5N1). Large populations of this species can be found in periagricultural and periurban settings and thus may be of potential epidemiologic importance if H5N1 subtype were to establish itself in North American wild bird populations.

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    ABSTRACT: Influenza A virus (IAV) infection is an important cause of respiratory disease in humans. The original reservoirs of IAV are wild waterfowl and shorebirds, where virus infection causes limited, if any, disease. Both in humans and in wild waterbirds, epithelial cells are the main target of infection. However, influenza virus can spread from wild bird species to terrestrial poultry. Here, the virus can evolve into highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). Part of this evolution involves increased viral tropism for endothelial cells. HPAI virus infections not only cause severe disease in chickens and other terrestrial poultry species but can also spread to humans and back to wild bird populations. Here, we review the role of the endothelium in the pathogenesis of influenza virus infection in wild birds, terrestrial poultry and humans with a particular focus on HPAI viruses. We demonstrate that whilst the endothelium is an important target of virus infection in terrestrial poultry and some wild bird species, in humans the endothelium is more important in controlling the local inflammatory milieu. Thus, the endothelium plays an important, but species-specific, role in the pathogenesis of influenza virus infection.
    Frontiers in Microbiology 12/2014; 5:653. DOI:10.3389/fmicb.2014.00653 · 3.99 Impact Factor
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    • "On the other hand, prior natural exposure to LPAI viruses (in particular those of H5Nx or HxN1 subtypes) may result in partial acquired immunity and could modulate the outcome of an HPAI H5N1 infection. Wildfowl with naturally (Kalthoff et al. 2008) or experimentally (Pasick et al. 2007; Fereidouni et al. 2009) acquired LPAI-specific antibodies showed no or reduced clinical signs and a lower, delayed and shorter period of viral shedding compared to immunologically naı¨ve birds. This suggests that pre-existing immunity may increase the proportion of subclinical infections in wildfowl populations, but would not increase the timeframe in which birds are capable of dispersing viruses. "
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    ABSTRACT: 1. Migratory birds are major candidates for long-distance dispersal of zoonotic pathogens. In recent years, wildfowl have been suspected of contributing to the rapid geographic spread of the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 virus. Experimental infection studies reveal that some wild ducks, geese and swans shed this virus asymptomatically and hence have the potential to spread it as they move. 2. We evaluate the dispersive potential of HPAI H5N1 viruses by wildfowl through an analysis of the movement range and movement rate of birds monitored by satellite telemetry in relation to the apparent asymptomatic infection duration (AID) measured in experimental studies. We analysed the first large-scale data set of wildfowl movements, including 228 birds from 19 species monitored by satellite telemetry in 2006–2009, over HPAI H5N1 affected regions of Asia, Europe and Africa. 3. Our results indicate that individual migratory wildfowl have the potential to disperse HPAI H5N1 over extensive distances, being able to perform movements of up to 2900 km within timeframes compatible with the duration of asymptomatic infection. 4. However, the likelihood of such virus dispersal over long distances by individual wildfowl is low: we estimate that for an individual migratory bird there are, on average, only 5–15 days per year when infection could result in the dispersal of HPAI H5N1 virus over 500 km. 5. Staging at stopover sites during migration is typically longer than the period of infection and viral shedding, preventing birds from dispersing a virus over several consecutive but interrupted long-distance movements. Intercontinental virus dispersion would therefore probably require relay transmission between a series of successively infected migratory birds. 6. Synthesis and applications. Our results provide a detailed quantitative assessment of the dispersive potential of HPAI H5N1 virus by selected migratory birds. Such dispersive potential rests on the assumption that free-living wildfowl will respond analogously to captive, experimentally-infected birds, and that asymptomatic infection will not alter their movement abilities. Our approach of combining experimental exposure data and telemetry information provides an analytical framework for quantifying the risk of spread of avian-borne diseases.
    Journal of Applied Ecology 09/2010; 47(5):1147 - 1157. DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2664.2010.01845.x · 4.56 Impact Factor
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    • "Bird dies: The probability that a bird died given that it was infected (P_Dies_i, where i represents the Bird group Swan, D/G/M or Other) was estimated from mortality rates observed in birds exposed to HPAI H5N1 [4, 5, 13–15, 20]. Uncertainty distributions for these parameters were increased in light of expert opinion expressed by EFSA [7] and wild bird AI surveillance findings in the EU in 2006 and 2007 [10, 11]. "
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    Veterinary Research 07/2010; 41(4):50. DOI:10.1051/vetres/2010023 · 2.82 Impact Factor
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