Co-infection of highly pathogenic avian influenza and duck hepatitis viruses in Egyptian backyard and commercial ducks.

Research paper by Shimaa M G SMG Mansour, Haytham H Ali, Reham M RM ElBakrey, Iman E IE El-Araby, David E B DEB Knudsen, Amal A M AAM Eid

Indexed on: 20 Dec '18Published on: 20 Dec '18Published in: International Journal of Veterinary Science and Medicine


Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 virus poses a major challenge to the poultry industry and human health in Egypt. Twenty one households and eight duck farms in Sharkia Province, Egypt were investigated for the presence of avian influenza virus (AIV) and/or duck hepatitis virus 1 (DHV-1). Mortality rates among the investigated farms and yards were, 18.9% (69/365) of native ducks, 60.9% (25/41) of Pekin ducks, 60.2% (6306/10473) of Muscovy ducks and 44.9% (1353/3015) of Mallard ducks. The RT-PCR revealed the circulation of HPAI-H5N1 virus (81/104) among the examined birds with a high percentage in Muscovy (83.7%) and Pekin (83.4%) ducks. Interestingly, co-infection of HPAI and DHV-1 viruses in three ducklings with age of 4-19 days was detected. Severe neurological signs with high mortality were observed in ducklings as early as 4 days of age. Influenza virus antigen was detected in the neurons and glial cells of the brain, hepatocytes, and the intestinal submucosal plexus. Although, genetic characterization of H5N1 isolates revealed HPAIV of clade, such increased mortalities and neurological signs regardless of the duck age might imply the natural selection of HPAI in ducks. Crucial monitoring of the disease situation in ducks is essential for the implementation of an effective prevention and control program.

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