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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Zoonosis Update: Avian Influenza and Newcastle Disease

Authors
item SWAYNE, DAVID
item King, Daniel

Submitted to: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 5, 2002
Publication Date: June 1, 2003
Citation: Vol 222, Issue 22, pages 1534-1540.

Interpretive Summary: Avian influenza (AI) and Newcastle disease (ND) are diseases that affect various types of birds, especially domestic chickens and turkeys. These diseases are caused by specific viruses. On several occasions, these viruses have crossed into people and caused infections, but such occurrences have been rare. For the AI viruses, human infections have typically been self-limiting and without deaths. However, in 1997, an H5N1 AI virus in Hong Kong caused 18 hospitalized human infections with 6 deaths. Historically, outbreaks of human influenza that cause worldwide high death rates (pandemics) have resulted from influenza viruses created through natural mixing of the genetic material of human-origin influenza and AI viruses. By contrast, ND virus has produced self-limiting eye infections in laboratory and poultry workers, but ND virus has been of minimal human health importance.

Technical Abstract: Avian influenza (AI) and Newcastle disease (ND) are diseases that affect various bird species, especially domestic poultry, and are caused by type A orthomyxoviruses and type 1 paramyxoviruses, respectively. In poultry, AI and ND virus infections can be subclinical or produce various mild to severe disease syndromes including respiratory disease, drops in egg production or a multi-organ systemic disease with near 100% mortality. On several occasions, these viruses have crossed into people and caused infections, but such occurrences have been rare. For AI viruses, zoonotic infections have typically been self-limiting and non-lethal. However, in 1997, an H5N1 AI virus in Hong Kong caused 18 hospitalized human infections with 6 deaths. Human influenza pandemics have resulted from influenza viruses created through natural reassortment of genetic material between human-origin influenza and AI viruses. ND virus has produced self-limiting conjunctivitis in laboratory and poultry workers, but has been of minimal human health consequence.

Last Modified: 7/28/2014
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