Influenza A(H7N9) virus transmission between finches and poultry.
Bottom Line: Inoculated finches are better able to infect naive poultry than the reverse.Transmission occurs through shared water but not through the airborne route.It is therefore conceivable that passerine birds may serve as vectors for dissemination of H7N9 virus to domestic poultry.
Low pathogenicity avian influenza A(H7N9) virus has been detected in poultry since 2013, and the virus has caused >450 infections in humans. The mode of subtype H7N9 virus transmission between avian species remains largely unknown, but various wild birds have been implicated as a source of transmission. H7N9 virus was recently detected in a wild sparrow in Shanghai, China, and passerine birds, such as finches, which share space and resources with wild migratory birds, poultry, and humans, can be productively infected with the virus. We demonstrate that interspecies transmission of H7N9 virus occurs readily between society finches and bobwhite quail but only sporadically between finches and chickens. Inoculated finches are better able to infect naive poultry than the reverse. Transmission occurs through shared water but not through the airborne route. It is therefore conceivable that passerine birds may serve as vectors for dissemination of H7N9 virus to domestic poultry.
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Mentions: As in the finch–chicken experiments, society finches or bobwhite quail in this experiment were inoculated with Ck/Rizhao or Anhui/1 (donors) and shared water with naive birds. As in the other experiments, all donor finches in this experiment shed both viruses an average of 10 days (Figure 3, panels A, C; Table 2). Virus was shed by the oropharyngeal route, with the exception of 1 Ck/Rizhao-inoculated finch that shed virus via the cloaca 4 dpi (3.5 log10 EID50/mL). Water-contact quail were quickly infected and shed virus by 2 dpi.