Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

Influenza detected in Antarctic Southern Giant Petrels

Elisa de Souza Petersen (Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos, Laboratório de Ornitologia e Animais Marinhos, São Leopoldo, Brazil) and colleagues have published online in the NCT-APA Annual Activity Report 01/2015 on the presence of Influenza A virus in Southern Giant Petrels Macronectes giganteus in Antarctica.

The paper’s abstract follows:

“Influenza A virus was detected in different species of birds and migratory aquatic birds. They are the main reservoir of the virus.  In this research we detected the first Influenza A virus in Southern Giant Petrel in an Antarctic region.  The results represent 0.33% of the samples collected in two breeding areas of the species.  Some factors can explain the introduction of these pathogens and diseases in Antarctica, such as bird’s migratory behavior and the remains of the virus in cold waters."


Southern Giant Petrel in Antarctica, photograph by Michael Dunn


de Souza Petersen, E., Petry, M,V., Durigon, E. & Araújo, J. 2015.  Influenza detected in Macronectes giganteus in two islands of South Shetlands, Antarctica.  NCT-APA Annual Activity Report 01/2015. pp. 35-38.  DOI: 10.4322/apa.2015.004.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 10 September 2015

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