Avian influenza survey in migrating waterfowl in Sonora, Mexico

M. Montalvo-Corral, G. López-Robles, J. Hernández

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10 Scopus citations


A two-year survey was carried out on the occurrence of avian influenza in migrating birds in two estuaries of the Mexican state of Sonora, which is located within the Pacific flyway. Cloacal and oropharyngeal swabs were collected from 1262 birds, including 20 aquatic bird species from the Moroncarit and Tobari estuaries in Sonora, Mexico. Samples were tested for type A influenza (M), H5 Eurasian and North American subtypes (H5EA and H5NA respectively) and the H7 North American subtype (H7NA). Gene detection was determined by one-step real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RRT-PCR). The results revealed that neither the highly pathogenic avian influenza virus H5 of Eurasian lineage nor H7NA were detected. The overall prevalence of avian influenza type A (M-positive) in the sampled birds was 3.6% with the vast majority in dabbling ducks (Anas species). Samples from two birds, one from a Redhead (Aythya americana) and another from a Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata), were positive for the low-pathogenic H5 avian influenza virus of North American lineage. These findings represented documented evidence of the occurrence of avian influenza in wintering birds in the Mexican wetlands. This type of study contributes to the understanding of how viruses spread to new regions of North America and highlights the importance of surveillance for the early detection and control of potentially pathogenic strains, which could affect animal and human health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-68
Number of pages6
JournalTransbound Emerg Dis
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2011


  • Avian influenza
  • Diagnosis
  • Migratory birds
  • Surveillance


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