Migratory status is not related to the susceptibility to HPAIV H5N1 in an insectivorous passerine species

Kalthoff, D., Breithaupt, A., Helm, B., Teifke, J.P. and Beer, M. (2009) Migratory status is not related to the susceptibility to HPAIV H5N1 in an insectivorous passerine species. PLoS ONE, 4(7), e6170. (doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0006170)

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Migratory birds have evolved elaborate physiological adaptations to travelling, the implications for their susceptibility to avian influenza are however unknown. Three groups of stonechats (Saxicola torquata) from (I) strongly migrating, (II) weakly migrating and (III) non-migrating populations were experimentally infected with HPAIV H5N1. The different bird groups of this insectivorous passerine species were infected in autumn, when the migrating populations clearly exhibit migratory restlessness. Following infection, all animals succumbed to the disease from 3 through 7 days post inoculation. Viral shedding, antigen distribution in tissues, and survival time did not differ between the three populations. However, notably, endothelial tropism of the HPAIV infection was exclusively seen in the group of resident birds. In conclusion, our data document for the first time the high susceptibility of an insectivorous passerine species to H5N1 infection, and the epidemiological role of these passerine birds is probably limited due to their high sensitivity to HPAIV H5N1 infection. Despite pronounced inherited differences in migratory status, the groups were generally indistinguishable in their susceptibility, survival time, clinical symptoms and viral shedding. Nevertheless, the migratory status partly influenced pathogenesis in the way of viral tropism.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Helm, Dr Barbara
Authors: Kalthoff, D., Breithaupt, A., Helm, B., Teifke, J.P., and Beer, M.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Journal Name:PLoS ONE
Publisher:Public Library of Science
Published Online:09 July 2009
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2009 The Authors
First Published:First published in PLoS ONE 4(7):e6170
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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