Overview of avian influenza virus in urban feral pigeons in Bangkok, Thailand.
This survey assessed the presence of avian influenza virus (AIV) in urban feral pigeons (UFPs) in Bangkok, Thailand. A total of 485 UFPs were collected from eight study sites, and blood, tracheal, and cloacal samples were collected from each bird. Virus isolation and molecular methods did not detect AIV in any of the birds tested. A hemagglutination inhibition test was used to test for antibodies to high and low pathogenicity AIV subtypes. AIV subtype H9 antibodies were the only antibodies detected. The overall seroprevalence of AIV subtype H9 antibodies was 6.9%, and subtype H9 antibodies were found in UFPs at all eight sites. The overall geometric mean titer was 11.07 (range: 8-64). These results reveal that UFPs in Bangkok do not currently pose a risk of transmitting AIV to humans. However, monitoring of AIV in UFPs is necessary for disease control and to minimize the possibility of influenza outbreaks.