Wild ducks are the reservoir for only a limited number of influenza A subtypes

Epidemiol Infect. 1993 Feb;110(1):161-76. doi: 10.1017/s0950268800050780.


Analysis of cloacal samples collected from 12,321 wild ducks in Alberta, Canada, from 1976 to 1990 showed influenza A infections to be seasonal, with prevalences increasing as the population became increasingly more dense. Viruses with 3 haemagglutinin (H3, H4, and H6) and 3 neuraminidase subtypes (N2, N6, and N8) were found consistently to infect both adult and juvenile ducks each year, indicating that wild ducks may be a reservoir for these viruses. In contrast, viruses with 7 haemagglutinin (H2, H5, H7, H8, H9, H11, and H12) and 3 neuraminidase subtypes (N1, N3, and N4) were not found for prolonged periods during the study; when they were found, they primarily infected juveniles at moderate levels. Whilst wild ducks appear to perpetuate some influenza A viruses, they apparently do not act as a reservoir for all such viruses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Alberta / epidemiology
  • Animals
  • Disease Reservoirs*
  • Ducks / microbiology*
  • Female
  • Influenza A virus / classification
  • Influenza A virus / isolation & purification*
  • Male
  • Orthomyxoviridae Infections / epidemiology
  • Orthomyxoviridae Infections / veterinary
  • Prevalence
  • Regression Analysis
  • Respirovirus Infections / epidemiology
  • Respirovirus Infections / veterinary
  • Seasons