Avian influenza is one of the most contagious viral diseases in bird species and, increasingly, interspecies transmission to mammalian species has been reported. Prevention and eradication of avian influenza virus (AIV) infection in birds may require vaccines as part of a comprehensive program including biosecurity, culling, diagnostics, and surveillance. However, for valuable bird species in zoos, novel eradication strategies are needed, including antiviral treatments. The present study evaluated the anti-influenza efficacy of the potent neuraminidase inhibitor oseltamivir in avian species using the orders Galliformes (chickens) and Anseriformes (ducks). Viral replication of low pathogenic AIV was significantly reduced in the chicken model and completely reduced in the duck model. Anti-influenza drug administration to valuable bird species with an appropriate extrapolation approach could be useful for control of AIV in combination with active surveillance and vaccination strategies. Further, evaluation of oseltamivir against highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) using avian models would be needed to optimize the oseltamivir application guideline for HPAI control.

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