Iranian Journal of Microbiology 2009. 1(4):32-35.

A molecular survey of Avian Influenza among captive birds in the city of Tehran between November 2008 and February 2009
Seyed Masoud Hosseini, B Heydarchi, N Sheykhi, M Tabatabaian, R Bashar, SF Fahime Mousavi, MT Kheiri


Background and objectives: To determine the potential circulation of avian influenza viruses among different captive bird species, molecular surveillance was conducted at Tehran Zoo, Saiee Park and Pardisan Park of Tehran, Iran. These places are at risk for spread and transmission of influenza virus because of bird species diversity and close contact of birds with humans.
Materials & Methods: During the influenza season in Tehran, in the cold weather (November 2008-February 2009), 76 cloacae samples were collected from 5 orders of Anseriformes, Galliformes, Columbiformes, Pelicaniformes and Phoenicopteriformes, including 13 bird species plus 5 hybrid species of ducks. Presence of avian influenza genome was monitored with RT-PCR as a sensitive and specific assay. The assay targeted a 132 bp fragment of the conserved M gene of influenza type A.
Results: Influenza type A virus was not detected in samples collected from November 2008 to February 2009. The sensitivity of RT-PCR based on M primers was 0.1ng total RNA. Interestingly, during the study period, there was no report of death or clinical signs of disease among the c aptive birds, whereas the birds did not have vaccinated history against influenza A virus.
Conclusion: Although the results could be attributed at least partially to the presence of an undetectable amount of genomic RNA, based upon the sensitivity of the test our findings suggest that no RNA genome of influenza A viruses was present in the samples under study.


Avian influenza viruses; RT-PCR; Captive birds; Tehran

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