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Wild ducks are the reservoir for only a limited number of influenza A subtypes

  • G. B. Sharp (a1), Y. Kawaoka (a2), S. M. Wright (a2), B. Turner (a3), V. Hinshaw (a4) and R. G. Webster (a2)...

Analysis of cloacal samples collected from 12321 wild ducks in Alberta, Canada, from 1976 to 1990 showed influenza A infections to be seasonal, with prevalences increasing as the population became increasingly more dense. Viruses with 3 haemagglutinin (H3, H4, and H6) and 3 neuraminidase subtypes (N2, N6, and N8) were found consistently to infect both adult and juvenile ducks each year, indicating that wild ducks may be a reservoir for these viruses. In contrast, viruses with 7 haemagglutinin (H2, H5, H7, H8, H9, H11, and H12) and 3 neuraminidase subtypes (N1, N3, and N4) were not found for prolonged periods during the study; when they were found, they primarily infected juveniles at moderate levels. Whilst wild ducks appear to perpetuate some influenza A viruses, they apparently do not act as a reservoir for all such viruses.

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Epidemiology & Infection
  • ISSN: 0950-2688
  • EISSN: 1469-4409
  • URL: /core/journals/epidemiology-and-infection
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