Avian Influenza Surveillance in Wild Birds Presenting to Tri–State Bird Rescue & Research, Inc.


  • Michael Altmeier BS University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania




Type A avian influenza, avian influenza, antigen capture ELISA, surveillance


Public health officials must continue to explore and improve methods for highly pathogenic avian influenza surveillance because of its growing worldwide distribution and ability to adapt to many host species. The sampling of birds presenting to rehabilitation facilities for sickness and injury is a promising, yet underutilized surveillance method. In this cross–sectional prevalence study, designated species presenting to Tri–State Bird Rescue and Research, Inc. (Tri–State), Newark, DE were sampled and the type A isolation prevalence from these birds was compared to results from published studies of healthy free–ranging wild birds. One hundred cloacal swabs from waterfowl, shorebirds, and raptors were submitted for virus isolation and antigen capture ELISA of type A avian influenza
at Dr. Richard Slemons’ laboratory at Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Preventive Veterinary Medicine. None of the samples submitted were positive for type A avian influenza virus. This limited study suggests that virus prevalence from rehabilitating wild birds is not higher than the prevalence in free–ranging wild birds. This paper describes the methodology used in sampling wild birds present- ing for rehabilitation, the laboratory methods used to identify the presence of type A avian influenza, the results of this study, and implications for future surveillance projects.


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Author Biography

Michael Altmeier BS, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Michael Altmeier is currently working on his VMD at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine as a member of the class of 2009. He earned a BS in Biology from Lafayette College in Easton, PA. Data collection for this article were completed during his 2006 Summer Research Internship at Tri-State mentored by Erica Miller, DVM. He looks forward to a career in wildlife and zoo medicine focusing on zoonotic disease and public health.


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How to Cite

Altmeier, M. (2007). Avian Influenza Surveillance in Wild Birds Presenting to Tri–State Bird Rescue & Research, Inc. Wildlife Rehabilitation Bulletin, 25(2), 37–45. https://doi.org/10.53607/wrb.v25.169