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Avian Influenza H5 Antigen and Antibodies in Wild Birds in Zaria, Nigeria
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  • Peace Alonge,
  • Sunday Oladele,
  • Fatimah Hassan,
  • Ochuko Orakpoghenor,
  • Joseph Samuel
Peace Alonge
Ahmadu Bello University
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Sunday Oladele
Ahmadu Bello University
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Fatimah Hassan
College of Agriculture and Animal Sciences
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Ochuko Orakpoghenor
Ahmadu Bello University
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Joseph Samuel
Ahmadu Bello University
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Abstract

Avian influenza (AI) has a worldwide distribution and affects domestic and wild birds, thus causing great economic losses to the poultry industry. This study was carried out to detect avian influenza H5 antigen and antibodies in some wild birds in Zaria and its environs, Nigeria. A total of 136 wild birds, comprising 20 Laughing doves (Spilolepia senegalensis), 22 Speckled pigeons (Columba guinea), 25 Cattle egrets (Bubulcus ibis), 25 Senegalese parrots (Poicephalus senegalus), 21 Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) and 23 Geese (Anseranserini) were used for the study. Some of the birds (Laughing doves, Speckled pigeons, Cattle egrets and Senegalese parrots) were captured around poultry houses, while others (Mallards and Geese) were sampled from live bird markets (LBMs). Blood samples, oropharyngeal and cloacal swabs were collected from each bird. Sera were tested for avian influenza virus (AIV) H5 antibody using enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Pooled oropharyngeal and cloacal swabs of each bird species (8-10 samples) were tested for AIV antigen using one-step reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Results revealed overall prevalence of 6.62 % and 3.85 % for AIV antibody and antigen respectively. Based on species, AIV antibody was detected in Laughing dove (10 %), Speckled pigeon (13.64 %) and Mallard (19.05 %). Also, AIV antigen was detected in Senegalese parrot (20 %). In conclusion, AIV antibody and antigen were detected in wild birds in Zaria. Thus, these species of birds could play significant roles in the spread of this virus to chickens. Therefore, measures to limit the interactions of these wild birds with chickens should be implemented to minimize the spread of AI.