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Exposure to and Circulation of Avian Influenza and Newcastle Disease Viruses in Peridomestic Wild Birds in the United Arab Emirates

Abstract : Avian influenza and Newcastle disease viruses (AIV, NDV) are major pathogens of captive and wild birds worldwide. Wetlands and their associated bird communities, especially waterfowl and shorebirds, are known to play a central role in the epidemiology of these diseases as maintenance hosts. However, these viruses also circulate in places where these ecosystems and communities are uncommon, suggesting the involvement of other taxa in their epidemiological cycles. In the arid region of Abu Dhabi of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), both viruses are regularly detected, and represent a threat for local poultry and for the Houbara Bustard (Chlamydotis macqueenii) conservation breeding programs. To assess the presence, transmission, and maintenance of these viruses in such environments, 4,521 individuals from six resident and peridomestic wild bird species were sampled in the vicinity of two Houbara Bustard conservation breeding centers, and tested for AIV and NDV using real-time reverse transcriptase PCR and an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. A limited exposure to AIV was reflected in a virus prevalence below 0.4% and a serologic prevalence of 0.6%, and a moderate circulation of NDV was indicated by a virus prevalence of 0.9% and a serologic prevalence of 18.9% in the targeted peridomestic wild birds, suggesting different epidemiological roles for each taxa. Thus, some peridomestic species could actively participate in the epidemiological cycle of NDV in arid environments such as the UAE, challenging the conceptual epidemiologic framework centered on the involvement of waterfowl and shorebirds.
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https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-03214098
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Submitted on : Friday, April 30, 2021 - 6:50:00 PM
Last modification on : Friday, June 4, 2021 - 2:40:24 PM

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Julien Hirschinger, Mar Carrasco Munoz, Yves Hingrat, Timothee Vergne, Jean-Luc Guerin, et al.. Exposure to and Circulation of Avian Influenza and Newcastle Disease Viruses in Peridomestic Wild Birds in the United Arab Emirates. Journal of wildlife diseases, Wildlife Disease Association, 2020, 56 (2), pp.437-442. ⟨10.7589/2019-06-164⟩. ⟨hal-03214098⟩

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