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Influenza infection in wild raccoons

Emerging Infectious Diseases

By:
, , , , , , , , , , , , , and
DOI: 10.3201/eid1412.071371

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Abstract

Raccoons (Procyon lotor) are common, widely distributed animals that frequently come into contact with wild waterfowl, agricultural operations, and humans. Serosurveys showed that raccoons are exposed to avian influenza virus. We found antibodies to a variety of influenza virus subtypes (H10N7, H4N6, H4N2, H3, and H1) with wide geographic variation in seroprevalence. Experimental infection studies showed that raccoons become infected with avian and human influenza A viruses, shed and transmit virus to virus-free animals, and seroconvert. Analyses of cellular receptors showed that raccoons have avian and human type receptors with a similar distribution as found in human respiratory tracts. The potential exists for co-infection of multiple subtypes of influenza virus with genetic reassortment and creation of novel strains of influenza virus. Experimental and field data indicate that raccoons may play an important role in influenza disease ecology and pose risks to agriculture and human health.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Influenza infection in wild raccoons
Series title:
Emerging Infectious Diseases
DOI:
10.3201/eid1412.071371
Volume
14
Issue:
12
Year Published:
2008
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Emerging Infectious Diseases
First page:
1842
Last page:
1848