U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


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Pedersen, K., D.R. Marks, D.M. Arsnoe, C.L. Afonso, S.N. Bevins, P.J. Miller, A.R. Randall, and T.J. DeLiberto. 2014. Avian paramyxovirus serotype 1 (Newcastle disease virus), avian influenza virus, and Salmonella spp. in mute swans (Cygnus olor) in the Great Lakes region and Atlantic coast of the United States. Avian Diseases 58(1): 129-136. doi: 10.1637/10638-081413-Reg.1.


Since their introduction to the United States in the late 19th century, mute swans (Cygnus olor) have become a nuisance species by causing damage to aquatic habitats, acting aggressively toward humans, competing with native waterfowl, and potentially transmitting or serving as a reservoir of infectious diseases to humans and poultry. In an effort to investigate their potential role as a disease reservoir and to establish avian health baselines for pathogens that threaten agricultural species or human health, we collected samples from 858 mute swans and tested them for avian paramyxovirus serotype 1 (APMV-1), avian influenza virus (AIV), and Salmonella spp. when possible. Our results indicate that exposure to APMV-1 and AIV is common (60%, n 5 771, and 45%, n 5 344, antibody prevalence, respectively) in mute swans, but detection of active viral shedding is less common (8.7%, n 5 414, and 0.8%, n 5 390, respectively). Salmonella was isolated from three mute swans (0.6%, n 5 459), and although the serovars identified have been implicated in previous human outbreaks, it does not appear that Salmonella is commonly carried by mute swans.

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