Avian influenza prevalence and viral shedding routes in Minnesota ring-billed gulls (larus delawarensis)

Todd Froberg, Francesca Cuthbert, Christopher S. Jennelle, Carol Cardona, Marie Culhane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


Birds within the orders Charadriiformes (shorebirds, gulls) and Anseriformes (waterfowl) are reservoir hosts for avian influenza (AI) viruses, but their role in the transmission dynamics of AI viruses is unclear. To date, waterfowl have been the predominant focal species for most surveillance and epidemiological studies, yet gulls, in particular, have been shown to harbor reassortant AI viruses of both North American and Eurasian lineages and are underrepresented in North American surveillance efforts. To address this gap in surveillance, 1346 ring-billed gulls (Larus delawarensis) were sampled during spring and fall migrations and at three breeding sites in 2017 across Minnesota. Results indicate noticeable age-cohort dynamics in AI virus prevalence within ring-billed gulls in Minnesota. Immunologically naïve juveniles represented the cohort with the highest prevalence rate (57.8%). Regardless of age, more gulls had AI virus detected in oropharyngeal (OP) than in cloacal (CL) swabs. The high AI virus prevalence within ring-billed gulls, particularly in immunologically naïve birds, warrants further targeted surveillance efforts of ring-billed gulls and other closely related species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)120-125
Number of pages6
JournalAvian diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2019



  • Charadriiformes
  • Larus delawarensis
  • Minnesota
  • avian influenza virus
  • prevalence
  • rRT-PCR
  • ring-billed gull
  • shedding
  • surveillance

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

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