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J Infect Dis. 2005 Oct 15;192(8):1318-22. Epub 2005 Sep 12.

Serological analysis of serum samples from humans exposed to avian H7 influenza viruses in Italy between 1999 and 2003.

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  • 1Department of Infectious, Parasitic and Immuno-Mediated Diseases, Istituto Superiore di Sanita, Rome, Italy.


We evaluated the potential for avian-to-human transmission of low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) and highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H7N1 and LPAI H7N3 viruses that were responsible for several outbreaks of influenza in poultry in Italy between 1999 and 2003. A serological survey of poultry workers was conducted by use of a combination of methods. Evidence of anti-H7 antibodies was observed in 3.8% of serum samples collected from poultry workers during the period in 2003 when LPAI H7N3 virus was circulating. These findings highlight the need for surveillance in people occupationally exposed to avian influenza viruses, so that they can be monitored for the risk of avian-to-human transmission during outbreaks of avian influenza caused by both LPAI and HPAI viruses.

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