Prevalence of avian influenza virus (AIV) antibodies in the western Atlantic subspecies of Red Knot (Calidris canutus rufa) is among the highest for any shorebird. To assess whether the frequency of detection of AIV antibodies is high for the species in general or restricted only to C. c. rufa, we sampled the northeastern Pacific Coast subspecies of Red Knot (Calidris canutus roselaari) breeding in northwestern Alaska. Antibodies were detected in 90% of adults and none of the chicks sampled. Viral shedding was not detected in adults or chicks. These results suggest a predisposition of Red Knots to AIV infection. High antibody titers to subtypes H3 and H4 were detected, whereas low to intermediate antibody levels were found for subtypes H10 and H11. These four subtypes have previously been detected in shorebirds at Delaware Bay (at the border of New Jersey and Delaware) and in waterfowl along the Pacific Coast of North America.
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Vol. 50 • No. 3