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Infectious bursal disease virus antibodies in eider ducks and Herring Gulls.  [2000]

Hollmen,-T Franson,-J-C Docherty,-D-E Kilpi,-M et al. Department of Basic Veterinary Sciences, P.O. Box 57, 00014 University of Helsinki, Finland. [Corporate Author]

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We measured antibodies to infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV) in blood of nesting Common Eider (Somateria mollissima) females and immature Herring Gulls (Larus argentatus) in the Baltic Sea, and in blood of Spectacled Eider (Somateria fischeri) females nesting in a remote area of western Alaska, USA [date not given]. Positive (>=1:16) IBDV titres occurred in 75% of the eiders and 45% of the Herring Gull chicks. In eiders, the prevalence of positive titres differed among locations. We found no evidence that IBDV exposure impaired the immune function of Herring Gull chicks, based on their response to inoculation of sheep red blood cells. We suggest that eider ducks and Herring Gulls have been exposed to IBDV, even in locations where contact with poultry is unlikely. The presence of this virus in wild bird populations is of concern because it causes mortality of up to 30% in susceptible poultry.