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Volume 15, Number 2—February 2009

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Virus (H5N1) in Frozen Duck Carcasses, Germany, 2007

Timm C. Harder, Jürgen Teuffert, Elke Starick, Jörn Gethmann, Christian Grund, Sasan Fereidouni, Markus Durban, Karl-Heinz Bogner, Antonie Neubauer-Juric, Reinhard Repper, Andreas Hlinak, Andreas Engelhardt, Axel Nöckler, Krzysztof Smietanka, Zenon Minta, Matthias Kramer, Anja Globig, Thomas C. Mettenleiter, Franz J. Conraths, and Martin BeerComments to Author 
Author affiliations: Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, Isle of Riems, Germany (T.C. Harder, E. Starick, C. Grund, S. Fereidouni, M. Durban, A. Globig, T.C. Mettenleiter, M. Beer); Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, Wusterhausen, Germany (J. Teuffert, J. Gethmann, M. Kramer, F.J. Conraths); Bavarian Agency for Health and Food Safety, Erlangen, Germany (K.H. Bogner; R. Repper); Bavarian Agency for Health and Food Safety, Oberschleissheim, Germany (A. Neubauer-Juric); Brandenburg State Central Laboratory, Frankfurt/Oder, Germany (A. Hlinak, A. Engelhardt); Agency for Consumer Protection and Food Safety of Lower Saxony, Oldenburg, Germany (A. Nöckler); National Veterinary Research Institute, Pulawy, Poland (K. Smietanka, Z. Minta)

Main Article


Summary of investigations for HPAIV (H5N1) infections in industrial duck-fattening farms A, B, and C by rRT-PCR, sequencing and serologic analyses, Germany, 2007*

Farm/barn-unit Date of housing Herd size Date of culling Cumulative proportion of deaths, % Duckling age, d Swab samples† Serum samples‡ Tissue samples†
A/10 13 Jul 12,015 25 Aug 14.4§ 43 50/6 (25 Aug) 30/30/6
A/12 16 Jul 39,165 26 Aug 12.5 41 50/39 (25 Aug) 30/13/1
A/13 13 Jul 14,000 25 Aug 14.4§ 43 50/23 (25 Aug) 30/30/4
A/15 1 Aug 45,696 25 Aug 10.2 25 25/13 (22 Aug)
B/1-1 29 Jun 32,540 11 Aug¶ 20.3 (Figure 1, panel C) 43 7/(1)
B/1-1 14 Aug 35,175 9 Aug ND 24 519/0 (5 Sep) 106/5/0
B/1-2 17 Aug 35,000 9 Aug ND 21 511/0 (5 Sep) 109/5/0
B/2-4 20 Jul 35,860 9 Sep 5.9 (Figure 1, panel D) 50 511/6# (5 Sep) 126/105/52 122/1
B/3-5 25 Apr 22,550 14 Jun¶ 12.6 (Figure 1, panel A) 50
B/3-5 20 Jun 36,300 8 Jan¶ 8.3 (Figure 1, panel B) 42 34/2
B/3-5 7 Aug 35,860 9 Oct 2.4 34 515/0 (5 Sep) 125/3/0
B/3-6 10 Aug 34,650 9 Oct 1.2 31 519/0 (5 Sep) 130/1/0
C 19 Jul 28,000 9 Oct 2.2 52 515/0 (5 Sep) 91/3/0

*HPAIV, highly pathogenic avian influenza; rRT-PCR, real-time reverse transcription–PCR; ND, no data available.
†Total number of samples (oropharyngeal swabs; lung and central nervous system tissues) examined by rRT-PCR and sequencing/no. of subtype H5N1-positive samples; date of swab collection is indicated in parentheses.
‡Total number of serum samples examined/nos. positive for nucleocapsid protein–specific antibodies/nos. positive in H5-specific hemagglutination inhibition assay (titer ≥16).
§Combined data on proportion of deaths for barns A/10 and A/13; increased losses in barn A/10 occurred after early August 2007.
¶Date of regular slaughter. HPAIV (H5N1) was found in retained frozen duck carcasses of flocks B/3–5 (hatched 6/20/07) and subtype H5N1–specific RNA was present in 1 frozen duck carcass of flock B/1–1 (hatched 6/29/07), but the sample could not be pathotyped due to low viral genome loads.
#Due to low viral loads the H5N1 pathotype could be confirmed by sequencing a hemaglutinin fragment in only 2 cases.

Main Article

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