Publications by authors named "Alicia M Berlin"

7 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

A lesser scaup (Aythya affinis) naturally infected with Eurasian 2.3.4.4 highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza virus: Movement ecology and host factors.

Transbound Emerg Dis 2022 Jun 9. Epub 2022 Jun 9.

Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware, USA.

Despite the recognized role of wild waterfowl in the potential dispersal and transmission of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus, little is known about how infection affects these birds. This lack of information limits our ability to estimate viral spread in the event of an HPAI outbreak, thereby limiting our abilities to estimate and communicate risk. Here, we present telemetry data from a wild Lesser Scaup (Aythya affinis), captured during a separate ecology study in the Chesapeake Bay, Maryland. This bird tested positive for infection with clade 2.3.4.4 HPAI virus of the A/goose/Guangdong/1/1996 (Gs/GD) H5N1 lineage (results received post-release) during the 2021-2022 ongoing outbreaks in North America. While the infected bird was somewhat lighter than other adult males surgically implanted with transmitters (790 g, x̅ = 868 g, n = 11), it showed no clinical signs of infection at capture, during surgery, nor upon release. The bird died 3 days later-pathology undetermined as the specimen was not able to be recovered. Analysis of movement data within the 3-day window showed that the infected individual's maximum and average hourly movements (3894.3 and 428.8 m, respectively) were noticeably lower than noninfected conspecifics tagged and released the same day (x̅ = 21,594.5 and 1097.9 m, respectively; n = 4). We identified four instances where the infected bird had close contact (fixes located within 25 m and 15 min) with another marked bird during this time. Collectively, these data suggest that the HPAI-positive bird observed in this study may have been shedding virus for some period prior to death, with opportunities for direct bird-to-bird or environmental transmission. Although limited by low sample size and proximity to the time of tagging, we hope that these data will provide useful information as managers continue to respond to this ongoing outbreak event.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/tbed.14614DOI Listing
June 2022

Ecological insights from three decades of animal movement tracking across a changing Arctic.

Science 2020 11;370(6517):712-715

National Park Service, Denali National Park and Preserve, Denali Park, AK, USA.

The Arctic is entering a new ecological state, with alarming consequences for humanity. Animal-borne sensors offer a window into these changes. Although substantial animal tracking data from the Arctic and subarctic exist, most are difficult to discover and access. Here, we present the new Arctic Animal Movement Archive (AAMA), a growing collection of more than 200 standardized terrestrial and marine animal tracking studies from 1991 to the present. The AAMA supports public data discovery, preserves fundamental baseline data for the future, and facilitates efficient, collaborative data analysis. With AAMA-based case studies, we document climatic influences on the migration phenology of eagles, geographic differences in the adaptive response of caribou reproductive phenology to climate change, and species-specific changes in terrestrial mammal movement rates in response to increasing temperature.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.abb7080DOI Listing
November 2020

The pathogenesis of a North American H5N2 clade 2.3.4.4 group A highly pathogenic avian influenza virus in surf scoters (Melanitta perspicillata).

BMC Vet Res 2020 Sep 23;16(1):351. Epub 2020 Sep 23.

Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service, Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory, U.S. National Poultry Research Center, U.S., 934 College Station Road, Athens, GA, 30605, USA.

Background: Aquatic waterfowl, particularly those in the order Anseriformes and Charadriiformes, are the ecological reservoir of avian influenza viruses (AIVs). Dabbling ducks play a recognized role in the maintenance and transmission of AIVs. Furthermore, the pathogenesis of highly pathogenic AIV (HPAIV) in dabbling ducks is well characterized. In contrast, the role of diving ducks in HPAIV maintenance and transmission remains unclear. In this study, the pathogenesis of a North American A/Goose/1/Guangdong/96-lineage clade 2.3.4.4 group A H5N2 HPAIV, A/Northern pintail/Washington/40964/2014, in diving sea ducks (surf scoters, Melanitta perspicillata) was characterized.

Results: Intrachoanal inoculation of surf scoters with A/Northern pintail/Washington/40964/2014 (H5N2) HPAIV induced mild transient clinical disease whilst concomitantly shedding high virus titers for up to 10 days post-inoculation (dpi), particularly from the oropharyngeal route. Virus shedding, albeit at low levels, continued to be detected up to 14 dpi. Two aged ducks that succumbed to HPAIV infection had pathological evidence for co-infection with duck enteritis virus, which was confirmed by molecular approaches. Abundant HPAIV antigen was observed in visceral and central nervous system organs and was associated with histopathological lesions.

Conclusions: Collectively, surf scoters, are susceptible to HPAIV infection and excrete high titers of HPAIV from the respiratory and cloacal tracts whilst being asymptomatic. The susceptibility of diving sea ducks to H5 HPAIV highlights the need for additional research and surveillance to further understand the contribution of diving ducks to HPAIV ecology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12917-020-02579-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7513502PMC
September 2020

Clade 2.3.4.4 H5 North American Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Viruses Infect, but Do Not Cause Clinical Signs in, American Black Ducks ().

Avian Dis 2019 06;63(2):366-370

Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, United States Geological Survey, Laurel, MD 20708.

Highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAIV) from the goose/Guangdong/1996 clade 2.3.4.4 H5 lineage spread from Asia into North America in 2014, most likely by wild bird migrations. Although several variants of the virus were detected, H5N8 and H5N2 were the most widespread in North American wild birds and domestic poultry. In early 2015, the H5N2 virus spread through commercial poultry in the Midwest, and >50 million chickens and turkeys died or had to be culled. Related H5 HPAIVs are still endemic in much of the Eastern Hemisphere. The wild bird species that were involved with dissemination of the virus in North America are not known. Dabbling ducks, especially mallards (), typically have the highest detection rates for avian influenza viruses. To better characterize the wild avian species that could spread the virus, American black ducks (), which are closely related to mallards, were challenged with the North American H5N2 and H5N8 index HPAIV isolates: A/Northern Pintail/WA/40964/2014 H5N2 and A/Gyrfalcon/WA/41088/2014 H5N8. Although the American black ducks could be infected with low doses of both isolates (≤10 50% egg infective doses), ducks shed the H5N2 longer than the H5N8 (10 . 7 days) and the titers of virus shed were higher. Although there were too few ducks available on which to draw definitive conclusions, this suggests that American black ducks could serve as a more efficient reservoir for the H5N2 virus than the H5N8 virus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1637/11950-081418-ResNote.1DOI Listing
June 2019

Spatially explicit network analysis reveals multi-species annual cycle movement patterns of sea ducks.

Ecol Appl 2019 07 29;29(5):e01919. Epub 2019 May 29.

Department of Natural Resources Science, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, Rhode Island, 02881, USA.

Conservation of long-distance migratory species poses unique challenges. Migratory connectivity, that is, the extent to which groupings of individuals at breeding sites are maintained in wintering areas, is frequently used to evaluate population structure and assess use of key habitat areas. However, for species with complex or variable annual cycle movements, this traditional bimodal framework of migratory connectivity may be overly simplistic. Like many other waterfowl, sea ducks often travel to specific pre- and post-breeding sites outside their nesting and wintering areas to prepare for migration by feeding extensively and, in some cases, molting their flight feathers. These additional migrations may play a key role in population structure, but are not included in traditional models of migratory connectivity. Network analysis, which applies graph theory to assess linkages between discrete locations or entities, offers a powerful tool for quantitatively assessing the contributions of different sites used throughout the annual cycle to complex spatial networks. We collected satellite telemetry data on annual cycle movements of 672 individual sea ducks of five species from throughout eastern North America and the Great Lakes. From these data, we constructed a multi-species network model of migratory patterns and site use over the course of breeding, molting, wintering, and migratory staging. Our results highlight inter- and intra-specific differences in the patterns and complexity of annual cycle movement patterns, including the central importance of staging and molting sites in James Bay, the St. Lawrence River, and southern New England to multi-species annual cycle habitat linkages, and highlight the value of Long-tailed Ducks (Calengula haemalis) as an umbrella species to represent the movement patterns of multiple sea duck species. We also discuss potential applications of network migration models to conservation prioritization, identification of population units, and integrating different data streams.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/eap.1919DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6851985PMC
July 2019

The Pathogenesis of H7 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Viruses in Lesser Scaup ().

Avian Dis 2019 03;63(sp1):230-234

Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory, U.S. National Poultry Research Center, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Athens, GA 30605,

Waterfowl are the natural hosts of avian influenza virus (AIV), and through migration spread the virus worldwide. Most AIVs carried by wild waterfowl are low pathogenic strains; however, Goose/Guangdong/1996 lineage clade 2.3.4.4 H5 highly pathogenic (HP) AIV now appears to be endemic in wild birds in much of the Eastern Hemisphere. Most research efforts studying AIV pathogenicity in waterfowl thus far have been directed toward dabbling ducks. In order to better understand the role of diving ducks in AIV ecology, we previously characterized the pathogenesis of clade 2.3.4.4 H5 HPAIV in lesser scaup (). In an effort to further elucidate AIV infection in diving ducks, the relative susceptibility and pathogenesis of two North American lineage H7 HPAIV isolates from the most recent outbreaks in the United States was investigated. Lesser scaup were inoculated with either A/turkey/IN/1403-1/2016 H7N8 or A/chicken/TN/17-007147-2/2017 H7N9 HPAIV by the intranasal route. The approximate 50% bird infectious dose (BID) of the H7N8 isolate was determined to be 10 50% egg infectious doses (EID), and the BID of the H7N9 isolate was determined to be <10 EID, indicating some variation in adaptation between the two isolates. No mortality or clinical disease was observed in either group except for elevated body temperatures at 2 and 4 days postinoculation (DPI). Virus shedding was detected up to 14 DPI from both groups, and there was a trend for shedding to have a longer duration and at higher titer levels from the cloacal route. These results demonstrate that lesser scaup are susceptible to both H7 lineages of HPAIV, and similar to dabbling duck species, they shed virus for long periods relative to gallinaceous birds and don't present with clinical disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1637/11909-060118-ResNote.1DOI Listing
March 2019

THE PATHOGENESIS OF CLADE 2.3.4.4 H5 HIGHLY PATHOGENIC AVIAN INFLUENZA VIRUSES IN RUDDY DUCK (OXYURA JAMAICENSIS) AND LESSER SCAUP (AYTHYA AFFINIS).

J Wildl Dis 2017 10 17;53(4):832-842. Epub 2017 May 17.

1   Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory, US National Poultry Research Center, US Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service, 934 College Station Road, Athens, Georgia 30605, USA.

Waterfowl are the natural hosts of avian influenza virus (AIV) and disseminate the virus worldwide through migration. Historically, surveillance and research efforts for AIV in waterfowl have focused on dabbling ducks. The role of diving ducks in AIV ecology has not been well characterized. In this study, we examined the relative susceptibility and pathogenicity of clade 2.3.4.4 H5 highly pathogenic AIV (HPAIV) in two species of diving ducks. Juvenile and adult Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis) and juvenile Lesser Scaup (Aythya affinis) were intranasally inoculated with A/Northern Pintail/WA/40964/2014 H5N2 HPAIV. Additional groups of juvenile Lesser Scaups were inoculated with A/Gyrfalcon/WA/41088/2014 H5N8 HPAIV. The approximate 50% bird infectious doses (BID) of the H5N2 isolate for adult Ruddy Ducks was <10 50% egg infectious doses (EID) and for the juvenile Lesser Scaups it was <10 EID. There were insufficient juvenile Ruddy Ducks to calculate the BID. The BID for the juvenile Lesser Scaups inoculated with the H5N8 isolate was 10 EID. Clinical disease was not observed in any group; however, mortality occurred in the juvenile Ruddy Ducks inoculated with the H5N2 virus (three of five ducks), and staining for AIV antigen was observed in numerous tissues from these ducks. One adult Ruddy Duck also died and although it was infected with AIV (the duck was positive for virus shedding and AIV antigen was detected in tissues), it was also infected with coccidiosis. The proportion of ducks shedding virus was related to the dose administered, but the titers were similar among dose groups. The group with the fewest ducks shedding virus was the adult Ruddy Ducks. There was a trend for the Lesser Scaups to shed higher titers of virus than the Ruddy Ducks. No virus shedding was detected after 7 d postinoculation in any group. Similar to dabbling ducks, Lesser Scaups and Ruddy Ducks are susceptible to infection with this H5 HPAIV lineage, although they excrete lower titers of virus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7589/2017-01-003DOI Listing
October 2017
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