Submitted to: Emerging Infectious Diseases
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 25, 2009
Publication Date: December 1, 2009
Citation: Swayne, D.E., Pantin Jackwood, M.J., Kapczynski, D.R., Spackman, E., Suarez, D.L. 2009. Limited susceptibility of Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) and resistance of other poultry species to the 2009 novel H1N1 influenza A virus. Emerging Infectious Diseases. 15(12):2061-2063. Interpretive Summary: Beginning in April 2009, a novel H1N1 influenza virus has caused acute respiratory disease in humans, first in Mexico and then spreading around the world. The virus was a complex hybrid influenza virus composed of swine, human and avian influenza virus genetic material. We did studies to determine if the virus could infect poultry and be spread bird-to-bird. No birds became sick. The virus was detected growing in the respiratory system of Japanese quail, but not in chickens, turkeys or domestic ducks. There was no contact transmission of the viruses between any of the birds. This indicates chickens, turkeys or domestic ducks have a low chance of becoming infected by this virus, and with Japanese quail, infections would be limited with lack of ability to spread.
Technical Abstract: Beginning in April 2009, cases of acute respiratory disease were reported in humans caused by a novel H1N1 influenza A virus in Mexico. The causative agent was complex reassortant influenza A virus with gene segments from North American classic H1N1 swine viruses, North American avian viruses, human influenza A virus and Eurasian H1N1 swine viruses. The presence of avian and swine influenza virus genes in the 2009 novel H1N1 virus raises the potential for infection in poultry following exposure to infected humans or swine. To study infectivity and transmissibility of the 2009 novel H1N1 strain in poultry, turkeys, chickens, domestic ducks and Japanese quail were intranasally challenged with the virus and naïve birds put in contact. No clinical disease was produced. Detection of virus replication was infrequent, and only in the oropharyngeal swabs of intranasally inoculated Japanese quail. There was no contact transmission of the viruses for any of the species. These data suggest turkeys, chickens, and domestic duck have low risk for field infection, but Japanese quail might become infected, but because replication and shedding was limited to the respiratory tract and the virus did not transmit to quail by contact, suggested low potential for initiation and sustaining an outbreak.