The United States commercial poultry market has been hit with outbreaks of H5 and H7 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) during the past three years. Collaborators from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Wild Bird Surveillance, St. Jude Center of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance (SJCEIRS), Mississippi State University, and US Department of Agriculture investigated the role of wild birds in the emergence and spread of the recent H7N8 HP influenza virus to domestic birds. There has been considerable surveillance of dabbling ducks as influenza carriers. However, this work revealed diving ducks as an under-surveilled host contributing to the maintenance and transmission of influenza viruses. These efforts enable scientists to hone in on species critical for the spread of the virus in wild and commercial bird populations and provide essential data for responses to future avian influenza outbreaks.
Read more from the USGS on this work here.
Read the publication here.