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Avian Dis. 1992 Jan-Mar;36(1):1-10.

Influenza viruses in birds of the Atlantic flyway.

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Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, School of Hygiene and Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland 21205.


Isolation of type A influenza viruses from the feces of 5013 birds of 16 species was attempted during a 33-month study (1977-79). Seventy viruses were isolated from the feces of 3403 ring-billed gulls in Baltimore, Md., during 16 months of sampling. Six hemagglutinin (HA) subtypes and seven neuraminidase (NA) subtypes in 15 combinations were found. The H13N6 virus was the only subtype found each year and accounted for 40% of the isolates. The rate of isolation from gulls was 0.26% in the cold months and 3.0% in the warm months. Hemagglutination-inhibition (HI) and elution-inhibition antibody profiles reflected the presence of some but not all of the viruses isolated. In mute swans, the rates of seroconversions were 16% for HA antibody and 14% for NA antibody, whereas the viral isolation rate was 0.4% over a 3-year period. Both the H5 and the N2 subtypes, which were responsible for the lethal chicken outbreaks in 1983 in Pennsylvania, were isolated from gulls in 1978 in association with subtypes not found in the chicken virus. Also, seroconversions for the H5 HA occurred in mute swans in 1978.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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