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Surveillance of influenza A virus in migratory waterfowl in northern Europe

  • Anders Wallensten
  • Vincent J. Munster
  • Neus Latorre-Margalef
  • Mia Brytting
  • Johan Elmberg
  • Ron A. M. Fouchier
  • Thord Fransson
  • Paul D Haemig
  • Malin Karlsson
  • Åke Lundkvist
  • Albert D. M. E. Osterhaus
  • Martin Stervander
  • Jonas Waldenström
  • Björn Olsen
Publiceringsår: 2007
Språk: Engelska
Sidor: 404-411
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Emerging Infectious Diseases
Volym: 13
Nummer: 3
Dokumenttyp: Artikel i tidskrift
Förlag: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


We conducted large-scale, systematic sampling of influenza type A virus in migratory waterfowl (mostly mallards [Anas platyrhynchos]) at Ottenby Bird Observatory, southeast Sweden. As with previous studies, we found a higher prevalence in fall than spring, and among juveniles compared with adults. However, in contrast to other studies, we found that prevalence in spring was sometimes high (mean 4.0%, highest 9.5%). This finding raises the possibility that ducks are capable of perpetuating influenza A virus of different subtypes and subtype combinations throughout the year and from 1 year to the next. Isolation of the H5 and H7 subtypes was common, which suggests risk for transmission to sensitive domestic animals such as poultry. We argue that wild bird screening can function as a sentinel system, and we give an example of how it could have been used to forecast a remote and deadly outbreak of influenza A in poultry.


  • Infectious Medicine


  • ISSN: 1080-6040

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