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Appl Environ Microbiol. Jan 1982; 43(1): 110–115.
PMCID: PMC241789

Possible waterborne transmission and maintenance of influenza viruses in domestic ducks.


Two duck farms in Hong Kong were examined monthly for 1 year for the occurrence and persistence of influenza viruses within the duck communities. The predominant virus in one community was H3N2, a virus antigenically related to the pandemic Hong Kong strain. This virus was isolated monthly throughout the year from feces or pond water or both, indicating a cycle of waterborne transmission. Viruses of the same antigenic combination were isolated 1 and 2 years after the last sampling occasion, implying persistence in the community. Infection was asymptomatic. Maintenance of virus appeared to be dependent upon the continual introduction of ducklings susceptible to infection onto virus-contaminated water; the feces of ducks 70 to 80 days old were generally free of detectable virus despite the exposure of the ducks to virus in pond water. In the second community, in which ducklings were not introduced after the initial sampling, the prevailing viruses, H7N1 and H7N2, also present asymptomatically, ceased to be detected once the ducks were 70 to 80 days old. The normal practice of raising ducks of different ages on the same farm, wherein the water supplies are shared, as typified by the first community, appears to be instrumental in maintaining a large reservoir of influenza viruses in the duck population of southern China.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
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