We tested wild birds in Poland during 2008–15 for avian influenza virus (AIV). We took 10,312 swabs and feces samples from 6,314 live birds representing 12 orders and 84 bird species, mostly from orders Anseriformes and Charadriiformes, for testing and characterization by various PCR methods. From PCR-positive samples, we attempted to isolate and subtype the virus. The RNA of AIV was detected in 1.8% (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.5–2.1%) of birds represented by 48 Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos), 11 Mute Swans (Cygnus olor), 48 Common Teals (Anas crecca), three Black-headed Gulls (Chroicocephalus ridibundus), one Common Coot (Fulica atra), one Garganey (Spatula querquedula), and one unidentified bird species. Overall, the prevalence of AIV detection in Mallards and Mute Swans (the most frequently sampled species) was 2.0% (95% CI, 1.4–2.5%) and 0.5% (95% CI, 0.2–0.8%), respectively; the difference was statistically significant (P=0.000). Hemagglutinin subtypes from H1 to H13 were identified, including H5 and H7 low pathogenic AIV subtypes. Mallards and Common Teals harbored the greatest diversity of subtypes. We observed seasonality of viral detection in Mallards, with higher AIV prevalence in late summer and autumn than in winter and spring. In addition, two peaks in AIV prevalence in summer (August) and autumn (November) were demonstrated for Mallards. The prevalence of AIV in Mute Swans did not show any statistically significant seasonal patterns.
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Vol. 53 • No. 2