Molecular surveillance for avian influenza A virus in king penguins (Aptenodytes patagonicus)
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An investigation of the presence of influenza A virus has been conducted in king penguins (Aptenodytes patagonicus) at the Possession Island in the Crozet Archipelago, Antarctica, using a rapid molecular diagnostic method based on real-time polymerase chain reaction. No evidence of outbreak or positive viral infection of influenza A virus was found in this study. We however recommend the implementation of long-term surveillance in seabird populations of polar ecosystems to detect the potential introduction of exotic strains and potential existence of a local epidemiological cycle for avian influenza viruses.
KeywordsAvian influenza virus Surveillance King penguin Real-time polymerase chain reaction
We thank the Institut Polaire Français–Paul Emile Victor (IPEV) for financial and logistical support. Camille Lebarbenchon is supported by a Centre de Recherche de la Tour du Valat/Région Languedoc-Roussillon PhD fellowship. Chung-Ming Chang was supported by a Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) post-doctoral fellowship during this study. This work was funded by the French Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR) Santé-Environnement/Santé au travail.
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