A comparison of virulence of influenza a virus isolates from mallards in experimentally inoculated turkeys

Shankar Mondal, Zheng Xing, Carol Cardona

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Low pathogenic avian influenza viruses (LPAIV) from wild waterfowl can and do cross species barriers, infecting and sometimes becoming established in domestic poultry. Turkeys are naturally highly susceptible to LPAIV infections, especially with viruses from ducks. In this study, we describe clinical signs and lesions in experimentally inoculated commercial turkeys produced by a LPAIV, A/mallard/MN/1714/09 (H7N1), isolated from a mallard duck. Our results demonstrate that this H7N1 isolate produced clinical signs, including severe edema of the head and face because of an early inflammatory response in both inoculated and contact turkeys. In comparison, an isolate, A/mallard/MN/2749/09 (H6N8) from the same mallard population, infected and was transmitted between naïve turkeys but did not cause clinical disease or lesions. Our data indicate that proinflammatory (IL-1, TNF, and IL-6) and antiviral (IFN and IL-2) cytokines are expressed at different levels in H7N1-and H6N8-infected turkey peripheral blood mononuclear cells. These differences correlate inversely with clinical lesions, suggesting that differences in host responses result in variances in viral pathogenesis and in virulence of LPAIV in commercial turkeys. Based on these results, we can conclude that turkeys may exhibit variable immunologic responses to infection with different AIV strains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)790-796
Number of pages7
JournalAvian diseases
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2013


  • H6N8
  • H7N1
  • avian influenza virus
  • clinical disease
  • clinical signs
  • cytokines
  • inflammatory response
  • low pathogenic avian influenza
  • mallard duck
  • turkey


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