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Avian Dis. 1996 Jul-Sep;40(3):600-4.

Susceptibility of pigeons to avian influenza.

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National Veterinary Services Laboratories, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Ames, Iowa 50010, USA.


Susceptibility to infection with avian influenza virus (AIV) was studied in pigeons inoculated via oculonasal (Experiment 1) or intravenous (Experiment 2) route. Chickens were included as susceptible hosts in both experiments. Two subtypes each of the highly pathogenic AIV (HPAIV; HP CK/PA H5N2 and HP CK/Australia H7N7) and non-pathogenic AIV (NPAIV; NP CK/PA H5N2 and NP emu/TX H7N1) at a dose of 10(5) embryo infective dose per bird were used as inoculum. The pigeons inoculated with HP CK/PA H5N2 or HP CK/Australia H7N7 remained apparently healthy throughout the 21-day observation period, did not shed viruses on 3, 7, 14, and 21 days postinoculation (DPI), and had no demonstrable levels of antibodies on 21 DPI. On the other hand, 9 of 12 chickens inoculated with the HPAIV died of highly pathogenic avian influenza; the viruses were recovered from their respiratory and intestinal tissues, and the surviving chickens had antibodies to AIV. Regarding responses of pigeons to inoculation with NP CK/PA H5N2 or NP emu/TX H7N1, the pigeons remained clinically healthy throughout the 21-day observation period and did not have detectable levels of antibodies on 21 DPI; only one pigeon yielded the NP emu/TX H7N1 on 3 DPI. The virus was isolated from a tracheal swab and was believed to be the residual inoculum virus. Based on the responses of pigeons to NPAIV and HPAIV, it was concluded that the pigeons were resistant or minimally susceptible to infection with HPAIV or NPAIV.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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