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Tuesday, January 30 • 1:40pm - 2:00pm
SYMPOSIA-12: An Outbreak of Highly Pathogenic Influenza in Minnesota: Lessons Learned

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AUTHORS. Michelle Carstensen, Christopher Jennelle, Erik Hildebrand - Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; Paul Wolf, USDA-Wildlife Services; Hon Ip, USGS-National Wildlife Health Center

ABSTRACT. A novel reassortant of highly pathogenic avian influenza A (H5N2) virus (HPAIV) infected Minnesota poultry facilities from March through mid-June, 2015. In response we conducted extensive surveillance, collaborating with federal and university partners, to understand the potential role of wild birds. We tested free-ranging waterfowl feces, wild bird carcasses found dead, hunter-harvested wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo), and hunter-harvested dabbling ducks. We collected 3,139 waterfowl fecal samples within 16km of infected poultry facilities and in waterfowl production sites more than 16km from poultry production. We tested 1,077 pooled samples; 32 were positive for low pathogenicity avian influenza virus, but HPAIV was not detected. We tested 157 wild bird carcasses; HPAIV was isolated from one Cooper’s hawk (Accipiter cooperii). In spring hunter-harvested turkeys, no AIV was detected from 84 samples tested. In June and July 2015 we collected 619 swab and blood samples of resident Canada geese (Branta canadensis) in central Minnesota. While only two of these birds had detectable levels of type-A influenza virus shedding (non-HPAI), blood serum analysis suggested that one adult female was previously exposed to the Eurasian H5 HPAI strain. From August through September 2015, we collected swab and blood samples from 727 live dabbling ducks; 21% were actively shedding type-A influenza virus (non-HPAI) with 23% having serological evidence of prior exposure. Only one hatch year mallard showed serological evidence of prior exposure to Eurasian H5 HPAI. From September through November 2015, we collected 907 tracheal and cloacal samples (combined) from hunter-harvested dabbling ducks across Minnesota; 20% were actively shedding type-A influenza virus (non-HPAI). As part of USDA national surveillance efforts, we collected oropharyngeal and cloacal samples (combined) from 545 dabbing ducks across summer, fall, and winter in specific watersheds; 21% were actively shedding type-A influenza virus (non-HPAI). We collected a total of 6,178 samples through 2015, and were unable to detect widespread wild bird HPAIV shedding, highlighting the importance of our study in discussions about HPAIV transmission between wild waterfowl and domestic poultry.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 1:40pm - 2:00pm CST