1. The significance of airborne transmission in epidemics of infectious diseases in the livestock production industry remains unclear. The study therefore investigated the shedding route (faeces vs. exhaled air) of a vaccine strain of infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV) by broilers and the emission of airborne virus. 2. The experimental room contained 526 broilers which were orally inoculated at the age of 20¿d. The airborne virus was sampled by three different bioaerosol samplers: Andersen six-stage impactor, all-glass impinger (AGI-30) and OMNI-3000. 3. Infected broilers started to shed virus in faeces on d 5 post inoculation (PI), and stopped shedding on d 12 PI. The faecal virus remained detectable for at least two d after drying under broiler room conditions. No virus was detected in the air exhaled by broilers. 4. Airborne virus was collected on d 5, 8 and 12 PI at 20¿cm above the floor, and on d 8 and 12 PI in exhausted air. The emission rates of IBDV were 4·0 log10 50% tissue culture infectious dose (TCID50)/bird/d on d 8 PI, and 4·5 log10 TCID50/bird/d on d 12 PI. 5. We concluded that broilers shed IBDV mainly through their faeces. The presence of indoor airborne virus is associated with the viral presence in faeces. The successful recovery of airborne virus in exhausted air indicates there is a potential risk of virus spreading to the ambient environment via air.
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