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Open Access The onset of virus shedding and clinical signs in chickens infected with high-pathogenicity and low-pathogenicity avian influenza viruses

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Some avian influenza viruses may be transmissible to mammals by ingestion. Cats and dogs have been infected by H5N1 avian influenza viruses when they ate raw poultry, and two human H5N1 infections were linked to the ingestion of uncooked duck blood. The possibility of zoonotic influenza from exposure to raw poultry products raises concerns about flocks with unrecognized infections. The present review examines the onset of virus shedding and the development of clinical signs for a variety of avian influenza viruses in chickens. In experimentally infected birds, some high-pathogenicity avian influenza (HPAI) and low-pathogenicity avian influenza (LPAI) viruses can occur in faeces and respiratory secretions as early as 1 to 2 days after inoculation. Some HPAI viruses have also been found in meat 1 day after inoculation and in eggs after 3 days. There is no evidence that LPAI viruses can be found in meat, and the risk of their occurrence in eggs is poorly understood. Studies in experimentally infected birds suggest that clinical signs usually develop within a few days of virus shedding; however, some models and outbreak descriptions suggest that clinical signs may not become evident for a week or more in some H5 or H7 HPAI-infected flocks. During this time, avian influenza viruses might be found in poultry products. LPAI viruses can be shed in asymptomatically infected or minimally affected flocks, but these viruses are unlikely to cause significant human disease.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Center for Food Security and Public Health, College of Veterinary Medicine, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, USA 2: Department of Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, USA

Publication date: December 1, 2008

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