Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Avian influenza virus detection using smell

Date:
October 16, 2013
Source:
Monell Chemical Senses Center
Summary:
New research reveals that avian influenza, which typically is asymptomatic, can be detected based on odor changes in infected birds. The results suggest a rapid and simple detection method to help prevent the spread of influenzas in avian populations.

New research from the Monell Chemical Senses Center and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reveals how diseases can modify animal odors in subtle ways. In a recent study published in the public access journal PLOS ONE, scientists examined how infection with avian influenza (AIV) alters fecal odors in mallards.

Related Articles


Using both behavioral and chemical methods, the findings reveal that AIV can be detected based on odor changes in infected birds.

"The fact that a distinctive fecal odor is emitted from infected ducks suggests that avian influenza infection in mallards may be 'advertised' to other members of the population," notes Bruce Kimball, PhD, a research chemist with the USDA National Wildlife Research Center (NWRC) stationed at the Monell Center. "Whether this chemical communication benefits non-infected birds by warning them to stay away from sick ducks or if it benefits the pathogen by increasing the attractiveness of the infected individual to other birds, is unknown."

In the study, laboratory mice were trained to discriminate between feces from AIV-infected and non-infected ducks, indicating a change in odor. Chemical analysis then identified the chemical compounds associated with the odor changes as acetoin and 1-octen-3-ol.

The same compounds also have been identified as potential biomarkers for diagnosing gastrointestinal diseases in humans. Kimball and colleagues hypothesize that metabolites resulting from viral infection interact in concert with bacteria in the gastro-intestinal system of ducks to produce "odor signatures" indicating presence of the AI virus.

"Avian influenzas are typically asymptomatic in ducks and waterfowl. Infection in these species can only be diagnosed by directly detecting the virus, requiring capture of birds and collection of swab samples. Our results suggest that rapid and simple detection of influenzas in waterfowl populations may be possible through exploiting this odor change phenomenon," said Monell behavioral biologist Gary Beauchamp, PhD, also an author on the paper.

Future work will assess whether odor changes can be used for surveillance of AIV in waterfowl. In particular, researchers are interested in whether the odor change is specific to the AIV pathogen or if it is merely a general response to a variety of pathogens normally found in birds. Other studies will explore communicative functions of the AIV odor to gain greater understanding of how odors can shape social behavior in wildlife populations.

Also contributing to the research, which was funded by the National Wildlife Research Center, were Kunio Yamazaki and Maryanne Opiekun of Monell and Richard Bowen and Jack Muth from Colorado State University. Dr. Yamazaki, who actively contributed to the design and realization of this work, died in April 2103.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Monell Chemical Senses Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Bruce A. Kimball, Kunio Yamazaki, Dennis Kohler, Richard A. Bowen, Jack P. Muth, Maryanne Opiekun, Gary K. Beauchamp. Avian Influenza Infection Alters Fecal Odor in Mallards. PLoS ONE, 2013; 8 (10): e75411 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0075411

Cite This Page:

Monell Chemical Senses Center. "Avian influenza virus detection using smell." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131016212439.htm>.
Monell Chemical Senses Center. (2013, October 16). Avian influenza virus detection using smell. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131016212439.htm
Monell Chemical Senses Center. "Avian influenza virus detection using smell." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131016212439.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) Price check on honey? Bear cub startles Oregon drugstore shoppers. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

AFP (Oct. 23, 2014) One man is on a mission to boost the population of wolves in China's violence-wracked far west. The animal - symbol of the Uighur minority there - is under threat with a massive human resettlement program in the region. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins