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Tiger-to-Tiger H5N1 Transmission?
October 19, 2004
>>Mitree Temsiripong, managing director of the zoo, said 15 tonnes of raw chicken was bought each day from one reliable farm to feed the tigers.<<
The above comment does not seem to fit with tigers dying over a period greater than a month. If the source of the infection was the chickens, it would seem likely that over a 1 month period there would be signs of H5N1 infections in the chicken farm also. Interestingly, the zoo / tiger farm is very close (5 miles) to the outdoor zoo that had H5N1 infections in a white tiger and clouded leopard in January. In view of the large number of infected chickens in Thailand between Jan and Sept, it seems odd that only tigers in this very small geographical area would be affected.
The virus isolated from the leopard and tiger in January was almost identical to an isolate from a bird in Thailand. However, these three isolates were quite distinct from all other H5N1 isolates (in Thailand and elsewhere).