New Host Species For Avian Influenza Identified
In a new study published online in the open-access journal PLoS Pathogens, Dr. Vincent J. Munster, of Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, andcolleagues identify new host species for avian influenza A virus (H5N1) and provide important information on the distinctions between the ecology andepidemiology of various global strains of the virus.
An eight-year surveillance study, which included more than 36,000 wild migratory birds tested for low pathogenic avian influenza, details new data onhost species, prevalence, and temporal and geographical variation of avian influenza in wild migratory birds in Europe. Seven previously unknown hostspecies for H5N1 were identified, including four species of goose and the common gull, and dabbling ducks were found to harbor all but two knowninfluenza virus subtypes.
The ecological and epidemiological data provided on influenza A virus should assist both in assessing the risk of the virus spread by wild birds andwith the design of new surveillance studies for high and low pathogenic avian influenza in migratory birds.
This study was sponsored by the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, The Netherlands Organisation for scientific research, the European Union, the HealthResearch Council of Southeast Sweden, the Kronan Foundation, the Medical Faculty of Ume? University, and the Swedish Research Council.
Munster VJ, Baas C, Lexmond P, Waldenstr??m J, Wallensten A, et al. (2007)
"Spatial, temporal, and species variation in prevalence of influenza A viruses in wild migratory birds"
PLoS Pathog 3(5): e61. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.0030061
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