Experimental infections of Norway rats with avian-derived low-pathogenic influenza A viruses
Influenza A viruses (IAVs) are a public-health, veterinary, and agricultural concern. Although wild birds are considered the primary reservoir hosts for most IAVs , wild-bird IAV strains are known to spill over into poultry, domestic or wild mammals, and humans [9, 17, 29, 34]. Occasionally, spillover events may result in adaptation or reassortment with other strains. Moreover, some IAV strains found in wild waterfowl mutate into highly pathogenic forms in poultry, causing tremendous economic losses . When domestic animals, wildlife, and humans dwell in close proximity to each other, such as may be the case with agricultural operations, wildlife may represent a potential risk for interspecies pathogen transmission [5, 6, 10, 14, 17, 18, 26, 34]. Understanding the pathways through which IAV strains could spillover from waterfowl reservoirs into humans and domestic animals is important for limiting the spread of IAVs, as well as developing biosecurity and containment procedures...
We appreciate the generous donation of virus from the Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory. Thanks also to Daniel N. Gossett and the National Wildlife Research Center Animal Care Staff for animal husbandry, and Gordon R. Gathright for veterinary support.
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