We examined whether host traits influenced the occurrence of avian influenza virus (AIV) in Anatidae (ducks, geese, swans) at wintering sites in California's Central Valley. In total, 3487 individuals were sampled at Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge and Conaway Ranch Duck Club during the hunting season of 2007–08. Of the 19 Anatidae species sampled, prevalence was highest in the northern shoveler (5.09%), followed by the ring-necked duck (2.63%), American wigeon (2.57%), bufflehead (2.50%), greater white-fronted goose (2.44%), and cinnamon teal (1.72%). Among host traits, density of lamellae (filtering plates) of dabbling ducks was significantly associated with AIV prevalence and the number of subtypes shed by the host, suggesting that feeding methods may influence exposure to viral particles.
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Vol. 54 • No. s1