Several previous reports and our studies show that waterfowl-origin influenza viruses can be more easily transmitted to domestic turkeys than chickens. Similarly, studies indicate turkeys to be better hosts for low pathogenic avian influenza viruses isolated from commercial poultry operations and live bird markets in comparison to chickens. Low 50% infectious-dose titers of wild bird as well as poultry-adapted viruses for turkeys further suggest that turkeys can be easily infected following a low-dose exposure. Also, interspecies transmission of swine influenza viruses to turkeys occurs frequently. These findings suggest the role of turkeys as suitable intermediate hosts that can be easily infected with influenza viruses of different origins and that turkeys can act as source of infection for other land-based poultry or even mammals.
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Vol. 54 • No. s1