This is a multi-institutional cooperative project to assess subtypes of avian influenza viruses in migrating water fowls over the United States. The main objective is to isolate avian influenza viruses from fecal samples collected from migrating water fowls and characterize the isolates for subtype and genetic profiles.
NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: A nation-wide avian influenza virus (AIV) surveillance has been conducted during a last few years as part of the Ntional Animal Health Laboratory Network under APHIS' leadership. Since the surveillance focused on the early detection of a highly pathogenic AIV in the migrating wild bird population by PCR-based assays, many of influenza A virus positive samples (i.e. non-H5 or H7 positive samples) have not been characterized. Because wild birds still poses a great risk of transmitting influenza viruses to poultry and other domestic species as well as public health risk, further assessment of those positive samples is necessary through cooperation among multiple institutes to better understand the ecology of AIV in wild bird and associated risk.
APPROACH: Virus isolation technique using embryonated eggs will be utilzied. Then isolates will be subtyped by immunological asssy (i.e., hemagglutination inhibition and neuraminidase inhbition tests) and molecular assays such as PCR and/or sequence analysis.