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Serological and virological surveillance of avian influenza virus in domestic ducks of the north-east region of Bangladesh.


Wild waterfowl are considered as the natural reservoir for avian influenza (AI) viruses. Bangladesh has been experiencing highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) outbreaks since 2007, mostly in chickens and occasionally in ducks. Ducks play an important role in the persistence and genetic recombination of AI viruses. This paper presents the results of serological and virological monitoring of AI in domestic ducks in 2013 in the north-east region of Bangladesh.A total of 871 and 662 serum samples and 909 and 302 pairs of cloacal and oropharyngeal swabs from domestic ducks of Mymensingh and Sylhet division, respectively, were analysed. Antibodies to type A influenza virus were detected by blocking ELISA in 60.73 and 47.73% serum samples of Mymensingh and Sylhet division, respectively. On haemagglutination-inhibition (HI) test 17.5% of ELISA positive serum samples were found to be seropositive to H5 avian influenza virus. Five cloacal swabs and one oropharyngeal swab were positive for M gene of type A influenza virus by real time RT-PCR (rRT-PCR), but all of them were negative for H5 influenza virus. Three of the six viruses were successfully characterized as H1N5, H2N5 and H7N5 subtype of AI virus, the other three remained uncharacterized. On sequencing and phylogenetic analysis the HA and NA genes were found to be of Eurasian avian lineage. The H7 virus had cleavage site motif of low pathogenic virus.Low pathogenic avian influenza viruses were detected from apparently healthy domestic ducks. A small proportion of domestic ducks were found seropositive to H5 AI virus.