Surveillance of Avian Influenza, Campylobacter Spp., and Salmonella Spp. in Canada Geese (Branta canadensis) in Greensboro, North Carolina, USA
IAAAM 2009
Elizabeth Gebhard1; Laurel Degernes1; Elizabeth Rutledge2
1College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA; 2College of Natural Resources, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA


The objectives of this study were to investigate the prevalence of avian influenza, Campylobacter spp., and Salmonella spp. in resident Canada geese (Branta canadensis) in Greensboro, NC. Canada goose populations are of increasing concern when they become resident, non-migratory geese in urban and suburban areas. The conflict and regular contact between humans and animals enhances the probability of disease transmission. In order to better understand the public health risk of resident Canada geese, we investigated the presence of zoonotic diseases at 15 different locations in the Greensboro area. This survey was part of a larger project to investigate resident Canada goose movement patterns in and around the Piedmont Triad International Airport. During a 3-day period, 772 geese were caught and banded during their summer molt. Cloacal swabs (n=140) were collected to test for avian influenza and fecal samples were collected to test for Campylobacter (n=218) and Salmonella (n=94). Five cloacal swabs were pooled into 28 samples according to age (adult or juvenile) and were tested for Type A Influenza (FLU DETECT, Synbiotics Corporation, San Diego, CA) using an antigen test kit. Campylobacter was cultured using direct plating on charcoal cefoperazone desoxycholate agar (CCDA) selective media. Fecal samples were tested for Salmonella using 1 gram of feces placed in buffered peptone water with Novobiocin and incubated at 37 °C for 18-24 hrs, followed by ELISA testing (Tecra International Pty Ltd., Australia). The prevalence of avian influenza, Campylobacter, and Salmonella was 0.0%, 5.50%, and 2.12% respectively. The importance of the disease survey is to investigate the prevalence of zoonotic diseases in Canada geese, which may be important to consider when implementing different management strategies to alter goose movement patterns. Knowledge of zoonotic disease occurrence in Canada geese is pertinent to understanding the public health hazards these birds create. A specific concern with waterfowl stems from the possible release of pathogens into aquatic environments such as public water supplies. Further studies should be conducted to determine the risk of human exposure to this potential source of zoonotic disease.

Speaker Information
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Elizabeth Gebhard
College of Veterinary Medicine
North Carolina State University
Raleigh, NC, USA

MAIN : Epidemiology : Canada Geese
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