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Avian Dis. 2002 Oct-Dec;46(4):877-85.

Susceptibility of laughing gulls (Larus atricilla) to H5N1 and H5N3 highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses.

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USDA, Agricultural Research Service, Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory, 934 College Station Road, Athens, GA 30605, USA.


This investigation detailed the clinical disease, gross and histologic lesions, and distribution of viral antigen in juvenile laughing gulls (Larus atricilla) intranasally inoculated with either the A/tern/South Africa/61 (H5N3) (tern/SA) influenza virus or the A/chicken/Hong Kong/220/97 (H5N1) (chicken/HK) influenza virus, which are both highly pathogenic for chickens. Neither morbidity nor mortality was observed in gulls inoculated with either virus within the 14-day investigative period. Gross lesions resultant from infection with either virus were only mild, with the tern/SA virus causing decreased lucency of the air sacs (2/6), splenomegaly (2/6), and pancreatic mottling (1/6) and the chicken/HK virus causing only decreased lucency of the air sacs (2/8) and conjunctival edema (2/8). Histologic lesions in the tern/SA-inoculated gulls included a mild to moderate heterophilic to lymphoplasmacytic airsacculitis (6/6), mild to moderate interstitial pneumonia (3/6), and moderate necrotizing pancreatitis and hepatitis at 14 days postinoculation (DPI) (2/6). Immunohistochemical demonstration of viral antigen occurred only in association with lesions in the liver and pancreas. In contrast, viral antigen was not demonstrated in any tissues from the chicken/HK-inoculated gulls, and inflammatory lesions were confined to the air sac (3/8) and lungs (3/8). Both viruses were isolated at low titers (<10(1.68) mean embryo lethal dose) from oropharyngeal and cloacal swabs up to 7 days postinoculation (DPI), from the lung and kidney of one of two tern/SA-inoculated gulls at 14 DPI, and from the lung of one of two chicken/HK-inoculated gulls at 7 DPI. Antibodies to influenza viruses as determined with the agar gel precipitin test at 14 DPI were detected only in the two tern/SA-inoculated gulls and not in the two chicken/HK-inoculated gulls.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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