Transbound Emerg Dis. 2018 Nov 3. doi: 10.1111/tbed.13064. [Epub ahead of print]
Surveillance and investigative diagnosis of a poultry flock in Great Britain co-infected with an influenza A virus and an avirulent avian avulavirus type 1.

Reid SM1, Manvell R1, Seekings JM1, Ceeraz V1, Errington H2,3, Fuller CM1,4, Shell WM1, Essen S1, Puranik A1,5, Brown IH1, Irvine RM1,6.
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A detailed veterinary and laboratory investigation revealed an unusual case of concurrent avian avulavirus type 1 (AAvV-1, formerly called avian paramyxovirus type 1)) and low pathogenicity avian influenza (LPAI) virus infections of chickens during March 2010 in a mixed poultry and livestock farm in Great Britain. Respiratory signs and daily mortality of 5-6 birds in a broiler flock 8-weeks of age prompted submission of two carcasses to an Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) regional laboratory. Infectious bronchitis virus infection was suspected initially and virus isolation in SPF embryonated fowls' eggs was attempted at APHA-Weybridge. Avirulent AAvV-1 was detected in the first sampling. Both in-vitro nucleotide sequencing of the fusion gene and in-vivo pathotyping by intracerebral pathogenicity index revealed an avirulent AAvV-1 not definitively ascribed to licensed vaccine. Upon initial detection of the AAvV-1 virus, statutory restrictions were placed on the farm, an official veterinary visit was performed and further samples were submitted to APHA-Weybridge for official statutory disease investigation. An H2N3 LPAI virus was subsequently isolated from tissue samples and swabs submitted from the follow-up statutory investigation. The subtype was confirmed by haemagglutination inhibition test (HAIT) and neuraminidase inhibition (NI) tests on egg-amplified virus. As neither virus was notifiable according to the internationally-recognised EU and OIE standards, and/or definitions of disease, statutory farm restrictions were lifted. Veterinary investigations identified the broiler flock to be free-range, next to a river and duck pen, reinforcing the suspicion of wild bird origin for both viruses which may have been co-circulating in ducks. It could not, however, be established as to whether there were separate introductions of the two viruses or whether there had been a single co-introduction of the viruses. The described case highlights the value of integrated surveillance and laboratory approaches, including veterinary field investigations, international standards and definitions of notifiable avian disease, validated RRT-PCR assays, and virus isolation in achieving rapid and accurate diagnostic results. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.


avian avulavirus type 1; concurrent infections with avian influenza A and AAvV-1 viruses; farm biosecurity; low pathogenicity avian influenza A virus; notifiable avian disease investigation; routine surveillance

PMID: 30390413 DOI: 10.1111/tbed.13064