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Systemic distribution of different low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) viruses in chicken

Jacob Post1*, Eveline D de Geus2, Lonneke Vervelde2, Jan BWJ Cornelissen1 and Johanna MJ Rebel1

Author Affiliations

1 Central Veterinary Institute of Wageningen UR, P.O. Box 65, Lelystad,, 8219 PH,, The Netherlands

2 Faculty Veterinary Medicine, Dept. Infectious Diseases and Immunology, Utrecht University, Yalelaan 1, Utrecht, 3584 CL, The Netherlands

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Virology Journal 2013, 10:23  doi:10.1186/1743-422X-10-23

Published: 17 January 2013



Since we were able to isolate viable virus from brain and lung of H7N1 low pathogenic avian influenza virus (LPAIV) infected chickens, we here examined the distribution of different LPAIV strains in chickens by measuring the viral AI RNA load in multiple organs. Subtypes of H5 (H5N1, H5N2), H7 (H7N1, H7N7) and H9 (H9N2), of chicken (H5N2, H7N1, H7N7, H9N2), or mallard (H5N1) origin were tested. The actual presence of viable virus was evaluated with virus isolation in organs of H7N7 inoculated chickens.


Viral RNA was found by PCR in lung, brain, intestine, peripheral blood mononuclear cells, heart, liver, kidney and spleen from chickens infected with chicken isolated LPAIV H5N2, H7N1, H7N7 or H9N2. H7N7 virus could be isolated from lung, ileum, heart, liver, kidney and spleen, but not from brain, which was in agreement with the data from the PCR. Infection with mallard isolated H5N1 LPAIV resulted in viral RNA detection in lung and peripheral blood mononuclear cells only.


We speculate that chicken isolated LPAI viruses are spreading systemically in chicken, independently of the strain.

Low pathogenic avian Influenza; Chickens; Systemic distribution