The objectives of our study were to determine prevalence of avian influenza viruses (AIV) on wintering grounds on the Texas Gulf Coast, USA, and to compare real-time reversetranscriptase polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) and virus isolation for detection of AIV in cloacal swabs from wild waterfowl. Cloacal swabs were collected from hunter-harvested waterfowl from November 2005 to January 2006 at four wildlife management areas. Seven AIV were isolated from four species of ducks: Green-winged Teal (Anas crecca) in November; Blue-winged Teal (Anas discors) in November; Mottled Duck (Anas fulvigula) in December, and Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata) in January. Prevalence of AIV for each of these species during the sampling period was 1.4, 2, 6, and 0.6%, respectively. The AIV subtypes detected were H1N2, H1N4, H4N6, H6N2, and H10N7, all previously reported in North American waterfowl. Our study identified AIV subtypes not previously reported on the Texas Gulf Coast and provides baseline data for a multiyear surveillance project.
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Vol. 44 • No. 2