Table of Contents
Influenza Research and Treatment
Volume 2012, Article ID 567601, 8 pages
Research Article

Situation-Based Survey of Avian Influenza Viruses in Possible “Bridge” Species of Wild and Domestic Birds in Nigeria

1Epidemiology Unit, Department of Livestock, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Area 11, P.M.B 135, Garki, Abuja, Nigeria
2A.P. Leventis Ornithological Research Institute (APLORI), University of Jos Biological Conservatory, P.O. Box 13403, Laminga, Plateau State, Jos, Nigeria
3Department of Veterinary Public Health, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Nigeria
4EMPRES Animal Health-Wildlife Health & Ecology Unit, FAO, Rome, Italy
5Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, ECOWAS Commission, 60 Yakubu Gown Crescent, Asokoro District, P.M.B 401, Abuja, Nigeria
6National Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI), Plateau State, Vom, Nigeria

Received 2 May 2012; Revised 28 June 2012; Accepted 12 July 2012

Academic Editor: Michael L. Perdue

Copyright © 2012 Vakuru Columba Teru et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N1 subtype) recurred in Nigeria after 9 months period of no reported case. A critical look at possible sources of the re-occurrence was desirable. The objective of this study was to determine whether avian influenza viruses were present at reasonably detectable levels (0.5%) in possible “bridge” species of wild and domestic birds. The study was conducted in 8 Nigerian states. A total of 403 birds from 40 species were sampled. Virus isolation was done in embryonated chicken eggs according to standard protocols. The test results were all negative for avian influenza viruses. The overall confidence interval (CI) calculated in R using the exact binomial confidence interval function was 0–0.007406. Tawny Eagle (Aquila rapax) was the lowest sampled 0.3% (1/403) and Red-billed Firefinch (Lagonosticta senegala) the highest 11.7% (47/403). The limitations of the sample size and possibly designing effects on the study, as to make concrete conclusions were acknowledged. Species of wild birds, so identified in the study could be useful in future surveys. Furthermore, multidisciplinary and community oriented approach, blending targeted and passive surveillances was suggested. This approach was envisaged to bring about wider coverage of “bridge” species and clearer insight of their possible roles in avian influenza re-occurrences and spread in Nigeria.