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    Avian influenza virus risk assessment in falconry (2011)

    Art
    Zeitschriftenartikel / wissenschaftlicher Beitrag
    Autoren
    Kohls, A.
    Hafez, H. M.
    Harder, T.
    Jansen, A.
    Lierz, P.
    Lüschow, D.
    Schweiger, B.
    Lierz, M.
    Quelle
    Virology journal; 8 — S. 187
    ISSN: 1743-422x
    Sprache
    Englisch
    Verweise
    URL (Volltext): http://edocs.fu-berlin.de/docs/receive/FUDOCS_document_000000017450
    DOI: 10.1186/1743-422X-8-187
    Pubmed: 21513552
    Kontakt
    Institut für Geflügelkrankheiten

    Königsweg 63
    14163 Berlin
    Tel.+49 30 838 62676 Fax.+49 30 838 62690
    email:gefluegelkrankheiten@vetmed.fu-berlin

    Abstract / Zusammenfassung

    BACKGROUND:

    There is a continuing threat of human infections with avian influenza viruses (AIV). In this regard falconers might be a potential risk group because they have close contact to their hunting birds (raptors such as falcons and hawks) as well as their avian prey such as gulls and ducks. Both (hunting birds and prey birds) seem to be highly susceptible to some AIV strains, especially H5N1. We therefore conducted a field study to investigate AIV infections in falconers, their falconry birds as well as prey birds.
    FINDINGS:

    During 2 hunting seasons (2006/2007 and 2007/2008) falconers took tracheal and cloacal swabs from 1080 prey birds that were captured by their falconry birds (n = 54) in Germany. AIV-RNA of subtypes H6, H9, or H13 was detected in swabs of 4.1% of gulls (n = 74) and 3.8% of ducks (n = 53) using RT-PCR. The remaining 953 sampled prey birds and all falconry birds were negative. Blood samples of the falconry birds tested negative for AIV specific antibodies. Serum samples from all 43 falconers reacted positive in influenza A virus-specific ELISA, but remained negative using microneutralisation test against subtypes H5 and H7 and haemagglutination inhibition test against subtypes H6, H9 and H13.
    CONCLUSION:

    Although we were able to detect AIV-RNA in samples from prey birds, the corresponding falconry birds and falconers did not become infected. Currently falconers do not seem to carry a high risk for getting infected with AIV through handling their falconry birds and their prey.