Maria Alessandra De Marco, Laura Campitelli, Mauro Delogu, Elisabetta Raffini, Emanuela Foni, Livia di Trani, Michele Scaffidi, Isabella Donatelli

Parole chiave: Pheasant, Avian influenza, Influenza ecology, Serological survey

From 1995 to 2002, 219 sera were collected in Northern Italy from wild pheasants. A serological survey for avian influenza viruses (AIVs) was carried out by ELISA test in order to to detect type A influenza antibodies. The overall seroprevalence was 12.3%, with yearly values ranging from 0% to 42.5%. No antibodies against either H5 or H7 AIV subtypes were found by hemagglutination-inhibition test.
Data from 16 recaptured birds, among 113 animals banded for individual identification, showed seroconversions in 2 pheasants.
Our results indicate AIV circulation in free-living pheasants; the involvement of this land-based bird species in influenza ecology is discussed.