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Article: Eurasian tree sparrows, risk for H5N1 virus spread and human contamination through Buddhist ritual: An experimental approach

TitleEurasian tree sparrows, risk for H5N1 virus spread and human contamination through Buddhist ritual: An experimental approach
Authors
Issue Date2011
PublisherPublic Library of Science. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.plosone.org/home.action
Citation
Plos One, 2011, v. 6 n. 12 How to Cite?
AbstractBackground: The Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza H5N1 virus has dramatically spread throughout Southeast Asia since its first detection in 1997. Merit Release Birds, such as the Eurasian Tree Sparrow, are believed to increase one's positive karma when kissed and released during Buddhist rituals. Since these birds are often in close contact with both poultry and humans, we investigated their potential role in the spread of H5N1 virus. Methodology/Principal Findings: Seven series of experiments were conducted in order to investigate the possible interactions between inoculated and exposed birds, including sparrow/sparrow, sparrow/chicken, duck/sparrow. Daily and post-mortem samples collected were tested for H5N1 virus by real-time RT-PCR and egg inoculation. When directly inoculated, Eurasian Tree Sparrows were highly susceptible to the H5N1 virus, with a fatality rate approaching 100% within 5 days post-inoculation. Although transmission of fatal infection between sparrows did not occur, seroconversion of the exposed birds was observed. Up to 100% chickens exposed to inoculated sparrows died of H5N1 infection, depending on the caging conditions of the birds, while a fatality rate of 50% was observed on sparrows exposed to infected ducks. Large quantities of H5N1 virus were detected in the sparrows, particularly in their feathers, from which infectious particles were recovered. Conclusions/Significance: Our study indicates that under experimental conditions, Eurasian Tree Sparrows are susceptible to H5N1 infection, either by direct inoculation or by contact with infected poultry. Their ability to transmit H5N1 infection to other birds is also demonstrated, suggesting that the sparrows may play a role in the dissemination of the virus. Finally, the presence of significant quantities of H5N1 virus on sparrows' feathers, including infectious particles, would suggest that Merit Release Birds represent a risk for human contamination in countries where avian influenza virus is circulating and where this religious ritual is practiced. © 2011 Gutiérrez et al.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/148665
ISSN
2015 Impact Factor: 3.057
2015 SCImago Journal Rankings: 1.395
ISI Accession Number ID
Funding AgencyGrant Number
French Ministry of Research
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Funding Information:

This work was supported by the French Ministry of Research and by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

References

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorGutiérrez, RAen_US
dc.contributor.authorSorn, Sen_US
dc.contributor.authorNicholls, JMen_US
dc.contributor.authorBuchy, Pen_US
dc.date.accessioned2012-05-29T06:14:31Z-
dc.date.available2012-05-29T06:14:31Z-
dc.date.issued2011en_US
dc.identifier.citationPlos One, 2011, v. 6 n. 12en_US
dc.identifier.issn1932-6203en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/148665-
dc.description.abstractBackground: The Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza H5N1 virus has dramatically spread throughout Southeast Asia since its first detection in 1997. Merit Release Birds, such as the Eurasian Tree Sparrow, are believed to increase one's positive karma when kissed and released during Buddhist rituals. Since these birds are often in close contact with both poultry and humans, we investigated their potential role in the spread of H5N1 virus. Methodology/Principal Findings: Seven series of experiments were conducted in order to investigate the possible interactions between inoculated and exposed birds, including sparrow/sparrow, sparrow/chicken, duck/sparrow. Daily and post-mortem samples collected were tested for H5N1 virus by real-time RT-PCR and egg inoculation. When directly inoculated, Eurasian Tree Sparrows were highly susceptible to the H5N1 virus, with a fatality rate approaching 100% within 5 days post-inoculation. Although transmission of fatal infection between sparrows did not occur, seroconversion of the exposed birds was observed. Up to 100% chickens exposed to inoculated sparrows died of H5N1 infection, depending on the caging conditions of the birds, while a fatality rate of 50% was observed on sparrows exposed to infected ducks. Large quantities of H5N1 virus were detected in the sparrows, particularly in their feathers, from which infectious particles were recovered. Conclusions/Significance: Our study indicates that under experimental conditions, Eurasian Tree Sparrows are susceptible to H5N1 infection, either by direct inoculation or by contact with infected poultry. Their ability to transmit H5N1 infection to other birds is also demonstrated, suggesting that the sparrows may play a role in the dissemination of the virus. Finally, the presence of significant quantities of H5N1 virus on sparrows' feathers, including infectious particles, would suggest that Merit Release Birds represent a risk for human contamination in countries where avian influenza virus is circulating and where this religious ritual is practiced. © 2011 Gutiérrez et al.en_US
dc.languageengen_US
dc.publisherPublic Library of Science. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.plosone.org/home.actionen_US
dc.relation.ispartofPLoS ONEen_US
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.titleEurasian tree sparrows, risk for H5N1 virus spread and human contamination through Buddhist ritual: An experimental approachen_US
dc.typeArticleen_US
dc.identifier.emailNicholls, JM:nicholls@pathology.hku.hken_US
dc.identifier.authorityNicholls, JM=rp00364en_US
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_versionen_US
dc.identifier.doi10.1371/journal.pone.0028609en_US
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-82555185560en_US
dc.relation.referenceshttp://www.scopus.com/mlt/select.url?eid=2-s2.0-82555185560&selection=ref&src=s&origin=recordpageen_US
dc.identifier.volume6en_US
dc.identifier.issue12en_US
dc.identifier.isiWOS:000298171400112-
dc.publisher.placeUnited Statesen_US

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