Influenza A Virus in Shrimps

Wild aquatic birds are the natural reservoirs of Influenza A viruses. These birds can contaminate the natural water bodies inhabited by them. The question is if the Influenza A viruses, secreted by the birds, can persist in the waters around them.
Research has now concluded that these Influenza A viruses can persist in the contaminated water from days to years depending upon the environmental conditions. Various aquatic species other than ducks can promote the persistence and transmission of Influenza A viruses. However, studies on the role of aquatic fauna in persistence and transmission of these viruses are scarce.

So, the researchers designed an experiment to evaluate the survivability of Influenza A(H9N2) Virus in water with and without the bamboo shrimp (Atyopsis moluccensis) for a period of 12 days. The infectivity and amount of virus in water were calculated and were found to be significantly higher in water with the bamboo shrimp than in water without the bamboo shrimp[1].

The study also showed that bamboo shrimp can accumulate the virus mechanically which can infect chicken eggs up to 11 days. Whatever the means of accumulation, shrimps have now been proven to be a novel host for Influenza A viruses.

[1] Pathak et al: Survivability of low pathogenic (H9N2) avian influenza virus in water in the presence of Atyopsis moluccensis (Bamboo shrimp) in Zoonoses and Public Health - 2017

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