One-day-old, 2-wk-old, and 4-wk-old call ducks (Anas platyrhyncha var. domestica) inoculated intravenously with the H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza virus A/chicken/Yamaguchi/7/2004 isolate (Ck/Yama/7/04) were examined clinically, pathologically, and virologically. Clinically, the birds exhibited mild-to-severe neurologic signs and corneal opacity. All birds in the 1-day-old group and one bird in the 4-wk-old group died within 4 days after the virus inoculation. Histologic changes were characterized by severe nonpurulent encephalitis and necrotic lesions of feather epithelium on day 3 postinoculation (PI) or later. Focal necrosis of myocardial cells, pancreatic acinar cells, skeletal myocytes, and corneal epithelial cells was observed. Viral antigens were detected in association with necrotic changes. Viruses were isolated from all examined organs including the skin with many feathers. Serum antibody against the virus was detected in all surviving birds on day 10 PI by hemagglutination-inhibition tests. These results suggest that Ck/Yama/7/04 has a pathogenicity that causes neurologic sign, nonpurulent encephalitis with mortality, and feather lesions for call ducks. Feather lesions with viral antigens and the virus isolation from the skin suggest that Ck/Yama/7/04 has a predilection for feathers in call ducks.
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Vol. 51 • No. 1