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Volume 18, Number 9—September 2012

Letter

Contaminated Soil and Transmission of Influenza Virus (H5N1)

Ramona A. Gutiérrez and Philippe BuchyComments to Author 
Author affiliations: Institut Pasteur in Cambodia, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Main Article

Table

Clinical, virologic, and serologic results obtained from chickens exposed to soils experimentally contaminated with influenza virus (H5N1)*

Protocol Sandy topsoil
(rice fields) Building sand Soil-based compost
Low-dose contamination

Clinical signs

None None None

Mortality rate

None None None

Virus in postmortem samples

NA NA NA

Seroconversion rate

None 33% at day 24 50% at day 24
High-dose contamination

Clinical signs

None None None

Mortality rate

None 100% by day 4 100% by day 4

Virus in postmortem samples

NA Yes Yes

Seroconversion rate

None NA NA

*Low-dose contamination protocol, exposure of the chickens to soil inoculated with 1 infectious unit on day 0, 2 on day 6, 4 on day 12, and 8 on day 18. High-dose contamination protocol, exposure of the chickens to soil inoculated with 8 infectious units on day 0, 12 on day 6, 16 on day 12, and 20 on day 18. In each experiment, 10–20 chickens were exposed to contaminated soils. Each experiment was repeated twice. For each experiment, a control group was established (same number of chickens exposed to noncontaminated soils; no deaths were observed in control groups). NA, not applicable.

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