, Volume 12, Issue 2-3, pp 125-141

Host range of avian influenza virus in free-living birds

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Isolation of avian influenza virus (AIV) has been reported from 12 orders and 88 species of free-living birds. Most isolations are reported from species in the orders Anseriformes and Charadriiformes and it is recognized that species in Anseriformes represent important reservoirs of AIV. Morbidity and mortality among free-living birds attributable to AIV infection are rare, but differences in prevalence of AIV occur within and between avian species. Seasonal variation has been reported from free-living and sentinel ducks with peak AIV infection occurring in late summer and early fall. Prevalence of AIV is age-related, with highest isolation rates reported from juvenile birds. Differences in susceptibility to AIV infection among species have been demonstrated under experimental conditions. The dynamics and epidemiology of species-related variation in populations of free-living birds require further study.