We conducted a 3-yr study (2001–03) on greater white-fronted geese (Anser albifrons frontalis) breeding in Alaska, USA, to determine the exposure of this population to Pasteurella multocida and the potential role of these birds as disease carriers. We tested sera from nearly 600 adult geese for antibodies to P. multocida serotype 1. We found a low prevalence (<5%) of positive antibodies in adult geese, and based on the short duration of detectable antibodies, these findings indicate recent infection with P. multocida. Prevalence was similar to serologic results from both breeding and wintering lesser snow geese. We also collected oral (n=1,035), nasal (n=102), and cloacal (n=90) swab samples to determine the presence of avian cholera carriers in this population. We were unable to isolate P. multocida serotype 1 from any of the birds sampled. Based on comparison with other waterfowl species, we concluded that these geese may be exposed to avian cholera during the winter or spring migration but are unlikely to play a significant role as carriers of the bacterium causing avian cholera.
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Vol. 41 • No. 3