Recovery of influenza A viruses from lake water and sediments by experimental inoculation
Influenza A viruses (IAV) are zoonotic pathogens relevant to human, domestic animal and wildlife health. Many avian IAVs are transmitted among waterfowl via a faecal-oral-route. Therefore, environmental water where waterfowl congregate may play an important role in the ecology and epidemiology of avian IAV. Water and sediment may sustain and transmit virus among individuals or species. It is unclear at what concentrations waterborne viruses are infectious or remain detectable. To address this, we performed lake water and sediment dilution experiments with varying concentrations or infectious doses of four IAV strains from seal, turkey, duck and gull. To test for infectivity of the IAV strains in a concentration dependent manner, we applied cultivation to specific pathogen free (SPF) embryonated chicken eggs and Madin-Darby Canine Kidney (MDCK) cells. IAV recovery was more effective from embryonated chicken eggs than MDCK cells for freshwater lake dilutions, whereas, MDCK cells were more effective for viral recovery from sediment samples. Low infectious dose (1 PFU/200 μL) was sufficient in most cases to detect and recover IAV from lake water dilutions. Sediment required higher initial infectious doses (≥ 100 PFU/200 μL).