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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: APPLICATION OF BIOLOGICAL AND MOLECULAR TECHNIQUES TO THE DIAGNOSIS AND CONTROL OF AVIAN INFLUENZA AND OTHER EMERGING POULTRY PATHOGENS

Location: Exotic and Emerging Avian Viral Diseases Research Unit

Title: Avian influenza: Public health and food safety concerns

Authors
item Chmielewski, Revis
item SWAYNE, DAVID

Submitted to: Annual Review of Food Science & Technology
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: August 26, 2010
Publication Date: February 1, 2011
Citation: Chmielewski, R.A., Swayne, D.E. 2011. Avian influenza: Public health and food safety concerns. Annual Review of Food Science & Technology. 2:37-57.

Interpretive Summary: Avian Influenza (AI) is a disease caused by Type A influenza viruses which are animal species specific and rarely crosses the species barrier. However, sporadic human infections have occurred with subtypes H5, H7 and H9, usually following direct contact with infected birds. In humans, the H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAI) has caused severe pneumonia and high death rate. Outbreaks of AI could have a severe economic and social impact on the poultry industry, trade and public health. Surveillance data showed that AI has been detected in imported frozen duck meat and on the surface of contaminated eggs however there is no direct evidence that AI can be transmitted to humans via the consumption of contaminated poultry products. Implementing management practices that incorporate biosecurity principles, personal hygiene, cleaning and disinfection protocols, as well as cooking and processing standards are effective means of controlling the spread of the AI viruses.

Technical Abstract: Avian Influenza (AI) is an asymptomatic infection or disease caused by Influenza virus A. AI viruses are species specific and rarely crosses the species barrier. However subtypes H5, H7 and H9 have caused sporadic infections in humans mostly as a result of direct contact with infected birds. H5N1 high pathogenicity avian influenza (HPAI) virus causes a rapid onset of severe viral pneumonia and is highly fatal (60% mortality). Outbreaks of AI could have a severe economic and social impact on the poultry industry, trade and public health. Surveillance data showed that AI has been detected in imported frozen duck meat and on the surface of contaminated eggs however there is no direct evidence that AI can be transmitted to humans via the consumption of contaminated poultry products. Implementing management practices that incorporate biosecurity principles, personal hygiene, cleaning and disinfection protocols, as well as cooking and processing standards are effective means of controlling the spread of the AI viruses.

Last Modified: 7/28/2014
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