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.

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 August 22, 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 August 22, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Friday, August 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) — An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Terrifying City-Dwelling Spiders Are Bigger And More Fertile

Terrifying City-Dwelling Spiders Are Bigger And More Fertile

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) — According to a new study, spiders that live in cities are bigger, fatter and multiply faster. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) — According to a new study, elderly people might have trouble sleeping because of the loss of a certain group of neurons in the brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ramen Health Risks: The Dark Side of the Noodle

Ramen Health Risks: The Dark Side of the Noodle

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) — South Koreans eat more instant ramen noodles per capita than anywhere else in the world. But American researchers say eating too much may increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
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:
from the past week

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