The tenacity of three low pathogenicity avian influenza viruses (AIV; subtypes H4N6, H5N1, and H6N8) was tested at five different temperatures (−10, 0, 10, 20, and 30 C) in distilled water, normal saline, and surface water obtained from Lake Constance. Infectivity of AIV in the samples was quantified at regular intervals by end point titration on Madin-Darby canine kidney cells for a maximum period of 36 wk, and duplicate samples were tested each time. The results showed that the survival time of AIV in all of the water types was inversely proportional to storage temperature. All three viruses showed varying sensitivity to inactivation under each of the experimental conditions. Persistence of the viruses was the longest in distilled water, second longest in normal saline, and shortest in surface water. The virus-inoculated surface water remained infective for a few days at 30 and 20 C, a few weeks at 10 C, and for months at 0 and −10 C.
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Vol. 54 • No. s1