Serological and Molecular Detection of Avian Influenza Virus Hemagglutinin (H5) in Wild Birds in and Around Zaria, Nigeria
Avian influenza (AI) has a worldwide distribution and affects domestic and wild birds, thus causing great economic losses to the poultry industry. This study was carried out to detect avian influenza virus H5 antibodies and nucleic acid in some wild birds [Laughing doves (Spilolepia senegalensis), Speckled pigeons (Columba guinea), Cattle egrets (Bubulcus ibis), Senegalese parrots (Poicephalus senegalus), Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) and Geese (Anser anserini)] in Zaria and its environs, Kaduna State Nigeria. Sera were tested for avian influenza virus (AIV) H5 antibody using competitive enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (cELISA). Pooled oropharyngeal and cloacal swabs of each bird species (8-10 samples) were tested for AIV nucleic acid using one-step reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Results revealed overall prevalence of 6.62% and 3.85% for AIV antibody and nucleic acid respectively. Based on species, AIV antibody was detected in laughing dove (10%), speckled pigeon (13.64%) and mallard (19.05%). Also, AIV antigen was detected in Senegalese parrot (20%). In conclusion, AIV antibody and antigen were detected in wild birds in Zaria, Nigeria. Thus, these species of birds could play significant roles in the spread of this virus to chickens. Therefore, measures to limit the interactions of these
wild birds with chickens should be implemented to minimize the spread of AI.
Keywords: Avian influenza; Antibody; Antigen; Wild birds; Zaria