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Mallard drake - photo by Andy Reeves, USGSThe movement and transmission of avian influenza viruses in wild birds may differ by the migratory nature of each host species. USGS research examined migration patterns of mallards and northern pintails and found that mallards appear less likely to make migratory flights between Alaska and Asia.  Thus, mallards are less likely to transfer Asian origin viruses directly to North America via Alaska.  However, mallards may be a common species to transmit avian influenza viruses once infected.

Pearce, J. M., A. B. Reeves, A. M. Ramey, J. W. Hupp, H. S. Ip, M. J. Bertram, M. J. Petrula, B. D. Scotton, K. A. Trust, B. W. Meixell, and J. A. Runstadler. 2011. Interspecific exchange of avian influenza virus genes in Alaska: The influence of trans-hemispheric migratory tendency and breeding ground sympatry. Molecular Ecology 20(5):1015-1025. doi:10.1111/j.1365-294X.2010.04908.x [Details] [Full Publication]


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