Low pathogenicity avian influenza virus (AIV) H7N2 has been isolated since 1994 from retail live-bird markets (LBMs) in the northeastern United States. This study examines the suppliers to the LBMs in New York and New Jersey. In 2001, 185 supplier premises in nine states were surveyed for the presence of AIV by virus isolation (VI) in embryonating chicken eggs. No H7 or H5 virus was isolated. In addition, 104 producer premises in two states were serologically negative for H7 and H5 AIV. Information on management practices was obtained via questionnaire for 191 premises in 12 states. The survey results suggest that current biosecurity practices at supplier premises could be improved, especially regarding movement of birds. The study supports the hypothesis that H7N2 AIV is primarily maintained within the LBMs and, if reintroduction from suppliers is occurring, it is likely retintroduced at a very low level or from suppliers not included in this study.
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