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The pathogenesis of clade H5 highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses in Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis) and Lesser Scaup (Aythya affinis)

October 1, 2017

Waterfowl are the natural hosts of avian influenza virus (AIV) and disseminate the virus worldwide through migration. Historically, surveillance and research efforts for AIV in waterfowl have focused on dabbling ducks. The role of diving ducks in AIV ecology has not been well characterized. In this study, we examined the relative susceptibility and pathogenicity of clade H5 highly pathogenic AIV (HPAIV) in two species of diving ducks. Juvenile and adult Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis) and juvenile Lesser Scaup (Aythya affinis) were intranasally inoculated with A/Northern Pintail/WA/40964/2014 H5N2 HPAIV. Additional groups of juvenile Lesser Scaups were inoculated with A/Gyrfalcon/WA/41088/2014 H5N8 HPAIV. The approximate 50% bird infectious doses (BID50) of the H5N2 isolate for adult Ruddy Ducks was <102 50% egg infectious doses (EID50) and for the juvenile Lesser Scaups it was <104 EID50. There were insufficient juvenile Ruddy Ducks to calculate the BID50. The BID50 for the juvenile Lesser Scaups inoculated with the H5N8 isolate was 103 EID50. Clinical disease was not observed in any group; however, mortality occurred in the juvenile Ruddy Ducks inoculated with the H5N2 virus (three of five ducks), and staining for AIV antigen was observed in numerous tissues from these ducks. One adult Ruddy Duck also died and although it was infected with AIV (the duck was positive for virus shedding and AIV antigen was detected in tissues), it was also infected with coccidiosis. The proportion of ducks shedding virus was related to the dose administered, but the titers were similar among dose groups. The group with the fewest ducks shedding virus was the adult Ruddy Ducks. There was a trend for the Lesser Scaups to shed higher titers of virus than the Ruddy Ducks. No virus shedding was detected after 7 d postinoculation in any group. Similar to dabbling ducks, Lesser Scaups and Ruddy Ducks are susceptible to infection with this H5 HPAIV lineage, although they excrete lower titers of virus.

Publication Year 2017
Title The pathogenesis of clade H5 highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses in Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis) and Lesser Scaup (Aythya affinis)
DOI 10.7589/2017-01-003
Authors Erica Spackman, Diann J. Prosser, Mary J. Pantin-Jackwood, Alicia Berlin, Christopher B. Stephens
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of Wildlife Diseases
Index ID 70191513
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Patuxent Wildlife Research Center