Ks9/39 (23.1 )Positive flocks/total flocksdoi:10.1371/journal.pone.0056851.tAI antibodies [19,20]. In Switzerland

Ks9/39 (23.1 )Positive flocks/total flocksdoi:10.1371/journal.pone.SPDB 0056851.tAI antibodies [19,20]. In Switzerland, researchers reported a higher seroprevalence of AI at 37.5 (15/40) in fancy breeding flocks [21]. However, many variables contribute to sample prevalence rates such as testing method, time of year, climate differences, migratory trends, species and age of waterfowl, and backyard flock exposure and management practices. Earlier studies focusing on the Delaware Bay and Maryland’s Eastern shore have shown the prevalence of AI reservoir species ranging from May to November. The Delaware Bay has been identified as a “hotspot” for AIV prevalence, from May to June, in shore birds, particularly the ruddy turnstone, however, the surveying time period excludes this population. Migratory waterfowl also travel up the Atlantic Flyway and arrive late July through October with peak AIV prevalence detected in August [22,23]. A study on the Eastern Shore of Maryland sampled cloacal swabs from resident ducks for 3 weeks between May 28 and Sept 2, 1998. Results suggested that influenza A viruses were introduced or increased in prevalence in resident waterfowl between July 15 and Aug 27 as AIV positives were detected from August 27 to September 2 at a prevalence of 13.9 [8]. While no AI RNA was detected in backyard poultry flocks, serological analysis indicated that almost a quarter of flocks had been previously exposed. Detection of antibodies against AI also allowed for screening of poultry that were infected prior to the sampling period. Detectable levels of antibodies against AI appear one to two weeks after infection and can last for several months [24]. Sera positive for antibodies were also screened for hemagglutinin (HA) ML 240 chemical information subtypes H5, H7, and H9 which are thought to have the greatest pandemic potential by the World Health Organization as they, although rare, are transmissible from birds to humans [25]. However, these HA subtype specific antibodies were not found in this study which is consistent with other publication findings. Previous influenza surveillance studies conducted in Maryland waterfowl have reported the presence of HA 23727046 subtypes H2, H3, H6, H9, H11, and H12, whereas the majority of North American subtypes consist of H3, H4, and H6 [8,9,26]. It is believed that all of the AI seropositive chickens identified in this study were exposed to LPAI viruses as the birds survived the infection and owners did not report any significant mortalities in their flocks as a result of disease. The majority of circulating strains are low pathogenic viruses which may produce subtle or no signsof clinical infection to mild respiratory distress. Other signs may include diarrhea, decrease in egg production, and inactivity. However, these signs are not specific to AI infection and are often present in other poultry diseases [3,27]. Almost half 15755315 of owners (46 ) with an AI positive test observed diarrhea in their flock within the past six months. One third of AI seropositive flock owners reported a decrease in egg production or soft/misshapen eggs in the previous six months and only one AI seropositive flock exhibited coughing, sneezing, nasal secretions, or swollen sinuses. Another indication that flocks may have been exposed to LPAI viruses was the negative HI assay result for H5 and H7 influenza subtypes, which are the exclusive subtypes associated with naturally occurring virulent isolates [28]. The lack of a secure housing environment and loca.Ks9/39 (23.1 )Positive flocks/total flocksdoi:10.1371/journal.pone.0056851.tAI antibodies [19,20]. In Switzerland, researchers reported a higher seroprevalence of AI at 37.5 (15/40) in fancy breeding flocks [21]. However, many variables contribute to sample prevalence rates such as testing method, time of year, climate differences, migratory trends, species and age of waterfowl, and backyard flock exposure and management practices. Earlier studies focusing on the Delaware Bay and Maryland’s Eastern shore have shown the prevalence of AI reservoir species ranging from May to November. The Delaware Bay has been identified as a “hotspot” for AIV prevalence, from May to June, in shore birds, particularly the ruddy turnstone, however, the surveying time period excludes this population. Migratory waterfowl also travel up the Atlantic Flyway and arrive late July through October with peak AIV prevalence detected in August [22,23]. A study on the Eastern Shore of Maryland sampled cloacal swabs from resident ducks for 3 weeks between May 28 and Sept 2, 1998. Results suggested that influenza A viruses were introduced or increased in prevalence in resident waterfowl between July 15 and Aug 27 as AIV positives were detected from August 27 to September 2 at a prevalence of 13.9 [8]. While no AI RNA was detected in backyard poultry flocks, serological analysis indicated that almost a quarter of flocks had been previously exposed. Detection of antibodies against AI also allowed for screening of poultry that were infected prior to the sampling period. Detectable levels of antibodies against AI appear one to two weeks after infection and can last for several months [24]. Sera positive for antibodies were also screened for hemagglutinin (HA) subtypes H5, H7, and H9 which are thought to have the greatest pandemic potential by the World Health Organization as they, although rare, are transmissible from birds to humans [25]. However, these HA subtype specific antibodies were not found in this study which is consistent with other publication findings. Previous influenza surveillance studies conducted in Maryland waterfowl have reported the presence of HA 23727046 subtypes H2, H3, H6, H9, H11, and H12, whereas the majority of North American subtypes consist of H3, H4, and H6 [8,9,26]. It is believed that all of the AI seropositive chickens identified in this study were exposed to LPAI viruses as the birds survived the infection and owners did not report any significant mortalities in their flocks as a result of disease. The majority of circulating strains are low pathogenic viruses which may produce subtle or no signsof clinical infection to mild respiratory distress. Other signs may include diarrhea, decrease in egg production, and inactivity. However, these signs are not specific to AI infection and are often present in other poultry diseases [3,27]. Almost half 15755315 of owners (46 ) with an AI positive test observed diarrhea in their flock within the past six months. One third of AI seropositive flock owners reported a decrease in egg production or soft/misshapen eggs in the previous six months and only one AI seropositive flock exhibited coughing, sneezing, nasal secretions, or swollen sinuses. Another indication that flocks may have been exposed to LPAI viruses was the negative HI assay result for H5 and H7 influenza subtypes, which are the exclusive subtypes associated with naturally occurring virulent isolates [28]. The lack of a secure housing environment and loca.

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