Thanks to Greg Folkers for sending the link to this new report in Virology: Transmissibility of novel H7N9 and H9N2 avian influenza viruses between chickens and ferrets. The abstract:
Previous studies have shown that the H7N9 avian influenza virus cannot be transmitted efficiently between ferrets via respiratory droplets. Here, we studied the infectivity of the H7N9 avian influenza virus in chickens and its transmissibility from infected to naïve chickens and ferrets.
The H7N9 virus (A/Anhui/1/2013) replicated poorly in chickens and could not be transmitted efficiently from infected chickens to naïve chickens and ferrets. H7N9 virus was shed from chicken tracheae for only 2 days after infection and from chicken cloacae for only 1 day after infection, while the H9N2 avian influenza virus, which is endemic in chickens in many Asian countries, was shed from tracheae and cloacae for 8 days after infection.
Taken together, our results suggest that chickens may be a poor agent of transmission for the H7N9 virus to other chickens and to mammals, including humans.