Serological and virological survey and resighting of marked wild geese in Germany

In order to investigate the potential role of arctic geese in the epidemiology, the spatial and temporal spread of selected avian diseases, in autumn 2002, a virological and serological survey designed as capture-mark-resighting study was conducted in one of the most important coastal resting stites for migratory waterfowl in Germany. Oropharyngeal, cloacal swabs and blood samples were collected from a total of 147 birds comprising of three different geese species including White-fronted Goose (Anser albifrons), Tundra Bean Goose (Anser fabalis rossicus), Pink-footed Goose (Anser brachyrhynchus) as well as from 29 non-migratory Canada Geese (Branta canadensis). Altogether six adeno-like viruses (ALV; 95% CI, 1.74-9.92%) and two avian paramyxoviruses (APMV-4; 95% CI, 0.19-5.53%) were isolated mainly from juvenile White-fronted Geese. In addition, four Canada Geese were infected with lentogenic APMV-1 (95%, CI, 3.89-31.66%) at the date of sampling. No avian influenza viruses, reo-like viruses could be isolated despite serological evidence. Likewise, no evidence of current or previous infection by West Nile virus was found. Of the 147 birds tagged in the following years, 137 birds were resighted between 2002 and 2008 accumulating to 1925 sightings. About 90% of all sightings were reported from the main wintering and resting sites in Germany and The Netherlands. Eight of the resighted geese were virus positive (ALV and APMV-4) at the time point of sampling in 2002.



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