Low pathogenic avian influenza virus (LPAIV) usually causes mild disease or asymptomatic infection in poultry. LPAIV have however become a great threat to poultry industry due to mixed infections with other pathogens. Co-infections do frequently occur in the field but are not easily detected, and their impact on pathobiology is not clearly defined due to the complicated nature but it is a well-known fact that there is an impact. One way to increase our knowledge on co-infections in poultry is to challenge birds in experimental and controlled conditions. While many articles report in vivo experiment with LPAIV in avian models, only few studied co-infections. Moreover, researchers tend to choose different bird types, ages, inoculation routes and doses for their experiments, making it difficult to compare between studies.
This review describes a state of the art on experimental infections with LPAIV alone or associated with co-infecting pathogens in avian models. Second, it aims at discussing how to best mimic field infections in laboratory settings. In the field of avian diseases, experimental design to use is obviously directly linked with the research question addressed. But there is a gap between field and experimental data and further studies are warranted to better understand how to bring the laboratory settings closer to the field situations.