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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Intervention Strategies to Control and Prevent Disease Outbreaks Caused by Avian Influenza and Other Emerging Poultry Pathogens

Location: Exotic and Emerging Avian Viral Diseases Research Unit

Title: Avian influenza prevention and control

Author
item Pantin-Jackwood, Mary

Submitted to: International Seminar on Poultry Production and Pathology Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: November 20, 2012
Publication Date: November 23, 2012
Citation: Pantin Jackwood, M.J. 2012. Avian influenza prevention and control. International Seminar on Poultry Production and Pathology Proceedings. CDROM.

Interpretive Summary: Avian influenza (AI) is one of the most important diseases affecting the poultry industry around the world. The natural reservoirs of AI virus are wild aquatic birds where it typically causes an asymptomatic to mild infection. The virus in poultry can cause a range of clinical signs. Viruses that cause mild disease with low mortality are termed low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) viruses. Viruses that cause severe disease and mortality are referred to as highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) viruses. A virus that is highly pathogenic in chickens may infect but produce a completely different disease in other host species. Outbreaks of HPAI have been relatively uncommon around the world in the last 50 years and have had limited spread within a country or region with one major exception, the Asian lineage H5N1 viruses. This lineage of virus has spread to over 60 countries and has become endemic in poultry in several countries. AI is a difficult disease to control. Biosecurity represents the first and most important means of preventing AI infections in poultry. The most effective strategy for dealing with avian influenza includes: early detection and early warning, rapid confirmation of suspected infections, rapid and transparent notification, and rapid response, including containment, management of poultry movement, zoning and compartmentalization, humane stamping out, and vaccination where appropriate. Animal health surveillance is essential for early detection and warning of avian influenza. Vaccination is a potentially powerful tool for supporting eradication programs by increasing the resistance of birds to the virus and by reducing the amount of virus shed into the environment, but critical to the success of a vaccination program to control AI, is monitoring flocks for field virus exposure so appropriate measures can be taken.

Technical Abstract: Avian influenza is one of the most important diseases affecting the poultry industry around the world. Avian Influenza virus (AIV) has a broad host range in birds and mammals, although the natural reservoir is considered to be in wild birds where it typically causes an asymptomatic to mild infection. The virus in poultry can cause a range of clinical disease, and is typically defined either as low pathogenic or highly pathogenic avian influenza depending on the type of disease it causes in chickens. Viruses that cause mild disease with low mortality are termed low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) viruses. Viruses that replicate systemically and cause severe disease and mortality are referred to as highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) viruses. A virus that is highly pathogenic in chickens may infect but result in a completely different disease and replication pattern in other host species. Outbreaks of HPAI have been relatively uncommon around the world in the last 50 years and have had limited spread within a country or region with one major exception, the Asian lineage H5N1 virus. This lineage of virus has spread to over 60 countries and has become endemic in poultry in several countries. AI viruses also represent a public health threat, with some infected humans having severe disease and a high case fatality rate. AI remains a difficult disease to control because of the highly infectious nature of the virus and the interface of domestic and wild animals. Understanding of the disease and its transmission is important for control of the virus. Biosecurity represents the first and most important means of preventing AI infections in poultry. The most effective strategy for dealing with avian influenza includes: early detection and early warning, rapid confirmation of suspected infections, rapid and transparent notification, and rapid response, including containment, management of poultry movement, zoning and compartmentalization, humane stamping out, and vaccination where appropriate. Animal health surveillance is essential for early detection and warning of avian influenza. Vaccination is a potentially powerful tool for supporting eradication programs by increasing the resistance of birds to field challenge and by reducing the amount and duration of virus shed in the environment, but critical to the success of a vaccination program to control AI, is monitoring flocks for field virus exposure so appropriate measures can be taken.

Last Modified: 9/2/2014
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