We sought to elucidate the role of migratory birds in transmission of H5N1 in an enzoonotic area. Resident, captive, and migratory birds were sampled at five sites in Java, Indonesia. Mist nets were used to trap birds. Birds were identified to species. RNA was extracted from swabs and reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) conducted for the HA and M genes of H5N1. Antibodies were detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and hemagglutination inhibition test. Between October 2006 and September 2007, a total of 4,067 captive, resident, and migratory birds comprising 98 species in 23 genera were sampled. The most commonly collected birds were the common sandpiper (6% of total), striated heron (3%), and the domestic chicken (14%). The overall prevalence of H5N1 antibodies was 5.3%. A significantly higher percentage of captive birds (16.1%) showed antibody evidence of H5N1 exposure when compared to migratory or resident birds. The greatest number of seropositive birds in each category were Muschovy duck (captive), striated heron (resident), and the Pacific golden plover (migratory). Seven apparently well captive birds yielded molecular evidence of H5N1 infection. Following amplification, the HA, NA, and M genes were analyzed. Phylogenetic analysis of the HA gene showed that the isolates were 97% similar to EU124153.1 A/chicken/West Java/Garut May 2006, an isolate obtained in a similar region of West Java. While no known markers of neuraminidase inhibitor resistance were found within the NA gene, M segment analysis revealed the V27A mutation known to confer resistance to adamantanes. Our results demonstrate moderate serologic evidence of H5N1 infection in captive birds, sampled in five sites in Java, Indonesia, but only occasional infection in resident and migratory birds. These data imply that in an enzoonotic region of Indonesia the role of migratory birds in transmission of H5N1 is limited.
- Field studies