Avian influenza viruses (AIVs) pose a significant threat to public health, and viral subtypes circulating in natural avian reservoirs can contribute to the emergence of pathogenic influenza viruses in humans. We investigated the prevalence and distribution of AIVs in 8826 migratory and resident wild birds in North America along the Pacific flyway, which is a major north-south migration pathway that overlaps with four other flyways in Alaska providing opportunities for mixing of Eurasian and American origin influenza viruses. Overall, the prevalence of AIVs was low (1%) among the wide range of avian species tested, but we detected AIVs in 69 hunter-harvested waterfowl (Anseriformes) sampled at a national wildlife refuge in California from October 2007 to January 2008. A wide range of subtypes were detected in waterfowl with H6N1, H10N7, H7N3, and H3N5 being the most common. We suspect H6N1 was introduced or remerged in 2007 at this key wintering site for waterfowl along the Pacific Flyway. Over a 3-week period, 13 H6N1 AIVs were isolated from two northern pintails (Anas acuta), three northern shovelers (Anas clypeata), three ring-necked ducks (Aythya collaris), four American widgeon (Anas americana), and one gadwall (Anas strepera). We conclude that a diverse array of AIVs was present and that cross-species transmission was occurring among waterfowl in the central valley wetlands of California.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Vector borne and zoonotic diseases (Larchmont, N.Y.)|
|State||Published - Oct 2010|