Bird flu in wild birds
According to US CDC, wild aquatic birds including gulls, terns, and shorebirds, and wild waterfowl such as ducks, geese and swans are considered reservoirs (natural hosts) for bird flu viruses. Most wild birds infected with bird flu viruses are asymptomatic (i.e., do not exhibit signs or symptoms of illness). Recently, bald eagles, owls and many other raptors were also found infected and killed by bird flu, which raised a big concern on the expanding impact of bird flu on wild birds.
In fact, bird flu, aka avian influenza, or more precisely, highly pathogenic avian influenza, is a class of highly contagious viral diseases in domestic birds, i.e., chicken, duck, etc. However, in modern farms, it is always managed by vaccination, even though occasional outbreak of bird flu was also seen on the reports. In wild birds, it will be difficult to perform the general vaccination program and thus to monitor the infection status and make sure the individuals are free from bird flu are very important.
In daily management and rescue of these wild birds, we recommend you check the bird flu infection, which is quite important to keep the bird safe in the rescue and even provide proper medication when found sick.
How to run the bird flu testing?
There are several ways to run the bird flu testing, each of which is different in terms of accuracy, costs and complexity of testing. In the table below you will find out the fact details.
|Method||Detection target||Principal||Accuracy||Cost||Complexity of testing|
|lateral flow assay||virus protein||immunoassay||>90%||Low||easy, no extra instrument required|
|ELISA||virus protein||immunoassay||>95%||Medium||skilled staff, incubator, ELISA reader and lab|
|RT-PCR||virus RNA||PCR||>99%||High||skilled staff, incubator, RT-PCR cycler and many other lab instrument|
Generally, for wildlife rescue or wildlife rehabilitation center, the bird flu rapid test kit will be enough, because when the bird is observed sick, the flu virus shall be a big quantity and will be tested with rapid test. In other BSL-3 labs, RT-PCR is always used as the gold method for bird flu testing because of the specificity and sensitivity, as well as the high accuracy.
What Ringbio can offer for bird flu testing?
At the moment, Ringbio has complete product line for bird flu testing, which include rapid test, ELISA, and RT-PCR. For HPAI, we have H5, H7 and H7 subtyping RT-PCR and duplex RT-PCR kit.
- Avian Influenza Antigen AIV Ag Rapid Test Kit
- Avian Influenza Virus H5N1 Real-time PCR Kit
- Avian Influenza Virus H7N9 Real-time PCR Kit
- Avian Influenza Virus H5 Real-time PCR Kit
- Avian Influenza Virus H7 Real-time PCR Kit
- Avian Influenza Virus H9 Real-time PCR Kit
- Avian Influenza Virus Real-time PCR Kit
- Avian Influenza Virus H5 H7 Duplex Real-time PCR Kit
These kits are already validated inhouse and by some external clients from local research institutes.
If you are interested in any of these, please feel free to contact us.
- Current Bird Flu Situation in Wild Birds | Avian Influenza (Flu) (cdc.gov)
- Poultry Disease Test Kits, for Avian influenza & leukosis antigen (ringbio.com)
- Bald Eagles Are Dying From Bird Flu | Smart News| Smithsonian Magazine
- Bird flu killed an owl in Utah and may be spreading. Here’s how to take precautions. (sltrib.com)
- Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in Wild Birds, including Owls and other Raptors (owlresearchinstitute.org)