Pathogenicity and tissue tropism of currently circulating highly pathogenic avian influenza A virus (H5N1; clade 2.3.2) in tufted ducks (Aythya fuligula)

C Brojer, Geert Amerongen, Marco van de Bildt, Peter van Run, Ab Osterhaus, D Gavier-Widen, Thijs Kuiken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Reports describing the isolation of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus (H5N1) clade 2.3.2 in feces from apparently healthy wild birds and the seemingly lower pathogenicity of this clade compared to clade 2.2 in several experimentally infected species, caused concern that the new clade might be maintained in the wild bird population. To investigate whether the pathogenicity of a clade 2.3.2 virus was lower than that of clades previously occurring in free-living wild birds in Europe, four tufted ducks were inoculated with influenza A/duck/HongKong/1091/2011 (H5N1) clade 2.3.2 virus. The ducks were monitored and sampled for virus excretion daily during 4 days, followed by pathologic, immunohistochemical, and virological investigations. The virus produced severe disease as evidenced by clinical signs, presence of marked lesions and abundant viral antigen in several tissues, especially the central nervous system. The study shows that HPAI-H5N1 virus clade 2.3.2 is highly pathogenic for tufted ducks and thus, they are unlikely to maintain this clade in the free-living population or serve as long-distance vectors. (C) 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)273-280
Number of pages8
JournalVeterinary Microbiology
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Cite this