Shedding of clade 184.108.40.206 H5N8 and H5N2 highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses in peridomestic wild birds in the U.S.
European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris), house sparrows (Passer domesticus) and rock pigeons (Columba livia) are all wild birds commonly found in large numbers in and around human dwellings and domestic livestock operations. This study evaluated the susceptibility of these species to three strains of highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HP AIV) clade 220.127.116.11 isolated in the U.S.. Experimental infection of European starlings and rock pigeons did not result in any overt signs attributable to AIV infection and no virus shedding was detected from the oral and cloacal routes. House sparrows shed by the oral route and exhibited limited mortality. Individuals from all three species seroconverted following infection. These data suggest that none of these birds are a likely potential bridge host for future HP AIV outbreaks but that their seroconversion may be a useful surveillance tool for detection of circulating H5 HP AIV.