SENTINEL BIRDS – Avian Influenza Virus Suirveillance among birds in the Danube Delta 2010-2012

Sick and dead birds have frequently been the first indication of the introduction / reoccurrence of HPAI influenza viruses. We will extend the network of veterinarians already working in the Danube Delta region and collect information on their observation on sick and dead birds. In case of an unusual morbidity or mortality, we will collect cloacal and tracheal samples, store them at -800C, screen the samples for influenza A viruses using rt-PCR and share the positive samples with the UI Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases. Captive sentinel bird surveillance will consist of placing of sentinel duck flocks in wetland environments where they are potentially exposed to and infected with influenza viruses as they mingle with wild birds.

Specific objectives:
– to describe the epidemiology of avian influenza in an area with previous outbreaks in birds
– to characterize influenza isolates through molecular epidemiology studies
– to develop in country laboratory capabilities to screen for and isolate viruses at the Center for Health Policy and Public Health, Babes Bolyai University
– establish a system for transfer and sharing of data between St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, University of Florida and Center for Health policy and Public Health, Babeş-Bolyai University Cluj-Napoca, Romania in compliance with the NIAID contract Data Release Plan.
Coordinator: St. Jude Children Hospital, Memphis – Tennessee

Partner: Babes-Bolyai University from Cluj-Napoca

Funder: 

Budget for BBU: 64.500 Euro

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