Seroprevalence of Antibodies against Seal Influenza A(H10N7) Virus in Harbor Seals and Gray Seals from the Netherlands

Rogier Bodewes, Ana Rubio Garcia, Sophie M. Brasseur, Guillermo J.S. Conteras, Marco W.G. Van De Bildt, Marion P.G. Koopmans, Albert D.M.E. Osterhaus, Thijs Kuiken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In the spring and summer 2014, an outbreak of seal influenza A(H10N7) virus infection occurred among harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) off the coasts of Sweden and Denmark. This virus subsequently spread to harbor seals off the coasts of Germany and the Netherlands. While thousands of seals were reported dead in Sweden, Denmark and Germany, only a limited number of seals were found dead in the Netherlands. To determine the extent of exposure of seals in the Netherlands to influenza A/H10N7 virus, we measured specific antibody titers in serum samples from live-captured seals and seals admitted for rehabilitation in the Netherlands by use of a hemagglutination inhibition assay and an ELISA. In harbor seals in 2015, antibodies against seal influenza A(H10N7) virus were detected in 41% (32 out of 78) pups, 10% (5 out of 52) weaners, and 58% (7 out of 12) subadults or adults. In gray seals (Halichoerus grypus) in 2015, specific antibodies were not found in the pups (n = 26), but in 26% (5 out of 19) of the older animals. These findings indicate that, despite apparent low mortality, infection with seal influenza A(H10N7) virus was geographically widespread and also occurred in grey seals.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0144899
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume10
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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