Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Virology. 2008 May 25;375(1):182-9. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2008.01.041. Epub 2008 Mar 4.

Examining the hemagglutinin subtype diversity among wild duck-origin influenza A viruses using ethanol-fixed cloacal swabs and a novel RT-PCR method.

Author information

  • 1Laboratory of Infectious Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


This study presents an interconnected approach for circumventing two inherent limitations associated with studies defining the natural history of influenza A viruses in wild birds. The first limiting factor is the ability to maintain a cold chain from specimen collection to the laboratory when study sites are in more remote locations. The second limiting factor is the ability to identify all influenza A virus HA subtypes present in an original sample. We report a novel method for molecular subtyping of avian influenza A virus hemagglutinin genes using degenerate primers designed to amplify all known hemagglutinin subtypes. It was shown previously that templates larger than 200 bp were not consistently amplifiable from ethanol-fixed cloacal swabs. For this study, new primer sets were designed within these constraints. This method was used to perform subtyping RT-PCR on 191 influenza RNA-positive ethanol-fixed cloacal swabs obtained from 880 wild ducks in central Alaska in 2005. Seven different co-circulating hemagglutinin subtypes were identified in this study set, including H1, H3, H4, H5, H6, H8, and H12. In addition, 16% of original cloacal samples showed evidence of mixed infection, with samples yielding from two-to-five different hemagglutinin subtypes. This study further demonstrates the complex ecobiology of avian influenza A viruses in wild birds.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center