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2024-6-22 10:11:15


Abotaleb MM, Mourad A, Fouad E, Abdo W, Nassif SA.. Pathogenicity and pathogenesis of a recent highly pathogenic avian influenza subtype H5N8 in mule ducklings in Egypt. Vet World. 2023 Jan;16(1):59-67
submited by kickingbird at Mar, 2, 2023 8:18 AM from Vet World. 2023 Jan;16(1):59-67

Background and aim: In late 2017, an H5N8 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus, clade 2.3.4.4, was isolated from domestic ducks in Egypt, which was associated with high morbidity and low mortality. The pathogenicity increased due to the continuous circulation of virus in ducks. Thus, this study aimed to monitor the pathogenesis and pathogenicity of new H5N8 Avian influenza (AI) virus in mule ducklings.

Materials and methods: The lethal dose 50 (LD50) for this new local HPAI H5N8 isolate was calculated. Twenty ducklings were inoculated with 0.1 mL of dilution containing 10 LD50 HPAI per duck. The clinical signs and mortalities were recorded until 30 days post-infection (DPI) to confirm viral pathogenesis. Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction was used to detect viral shedding from collected cloacal swabs after 3rd, 5th, 7th, 10th, 14th, 21st, and 30th DPI. The main histopathological lesions associated with the presence of HPAI virus were also recorded on the 3rd and 14th DPI.

Results: The result showed that the LD50 of the new HPAI H5N8 was 104 log10. Clinical signs were observed after 2nd DPI, but it was clinically severe on 3rd, 4th, and 5th DPI in the form of respiratory and gastric disorders, forming 90% of all diseased ducklings, whereas 30% of the infected ducks only showed nervous signs. The mortality rate peaked on 4th and 5th DPI with a cumulative mortality rate of 60% for the inoculated ducks, whereas no mortality was recorded after 6th DPI. Dead ducks showed typical postmortem lesions of AI disease. Necrosis and ecchymotic or petechial hemorrhages on the heart, pancreas, liver, and spleen were observed, whereas the lung showed pneumonia. With regard to viral shedding, infected ducklings shed the virus from its gut until 7th DPI, but the number of duck shedders gradually decreased until 14th DPI after viral shedding. The histopathological findings indicated that the spleen and thymus showed necrosis and hemorrhages, whereas the brain showed multifocal malacic foci and spread meningitis. Moreover, the lung had intrabronchial hyaline degeneration and fibrinous pneumonia on 3rd DPI. Furthermore, the liver showed multifocal necrotic foci and subcapsular hemorrhage, whereas the kidney showed remarkable tubular degeneration, mostly within the collecting tubules. Furthermore, the heart showed marked myocardiolysis of the cardiac muscle fibers. On 14th DPI, all histopathological lesions of the examined organs were restored to normal.

Conclusion: The currently circulating HPAI H5N8 virus strain has high virulence, particularly for imported mule ducks that originated from non-vaccinated breeder ducks. Therefore, vaccination and quarantine measures must be applied on imported 1-day-old mule ducklings. Moreover, the pathogenesis must be reviewed and monitored for updating circulating AI strains caused by the continuous and rapid evolution of AI viruses.

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