Low-pathogenic Avian Flu in Californian Quail

CALIFORNIA, US - Low-pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) of the H5 subtype has been identified as the cause of increased mortality in a commercial flock of Japanese quail in central California.
calendar icon 27 April 2014
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The veterinary authority sent an Immediate Notification dated 22 April to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

The report describes an outbreak of LPAI in Stanislaus County, California, starting on 14 April. The affected premises is a commercial Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) layer flock. The quail flock consists of two houses. The affected layer house contained approximately 56,000 adult quail. The brooder house contains approximately 39,000 quail. There are nine additional housed on the premises that house Pekin ducks for egg production and contained approximately 21,000 ducks.

The USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) are conducting a comprehensive epidemiological investigation of this event.

The commercial Japanese quail layer flock was experiencing increased mortality in the adult laying population.

Samples were submitted for laboratory testing and were confirmed positive for influenza A virus (IAV) subtype H5. The amino acid sequence at the haemagglutinin protein cleavage site of the laboratory specimen is compatible with North American low pathogenic avian influenza virus. The sequence is 99.1 per cent similar to A/American green-winged teal/Wisconsin 10OS3127/2010.

The index premises and two epidemiologically linked premises were placed under quarantine. Laboratory testing for influenza A virus (IAV) on the two epidemiologically linked premises was negative for IAV.

Depopulation of adult quail on affected premises has begun and the epidemiological investigation and response to the event are continuing.

This is the first outbreak of LPAI in the country since August 2013.

Further Reading

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