Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/19/2006
Publication Date: 9/28/2006
Citation: Swayne, D.E. 2006. The changing role of avian influenza on global health [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the 7th Annual Biomedical Research Symposium, College of Veterinary Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health, Tuskegee University, September 28, 2006. p. 17.
Technical Abstract: Avian influenza (AI) viruses are a diverse group divided into 144 different subtypes based on different combinations of the 16 hemagglutinin and 9 neuraminidase subtypes, and two different pathotypes (low [LP] and high pathogenicity [HP]). LPAI viruses are maintained in wild birds, and must be adapted to pass to domestic poultry. HPAI viruses arise in poultry and historically have not gone back to wild birds. Twenty-four epizootics of high pathogenicity avian influenza (HPAI) have occurred in the world since 1959. The largest of these outbreaks has been the H5N1 HPAI which has caused problems in poultry and wild birds in 55 countries in Asia, Europe and Africa since 1996. These viruses have also caused severe infections and death in a few humans. Most frequently, the HPAI viruses were transmitted to humans by direct close contact with infected poultry, although a few cases have implicated consumption of duck blood. The Asian H5N1 HPAI virus has readapted to some wild bird species creating a new mechanism of spread. The Asian H5N1 HPAI virus has spread into northern and western Asia, and Europe and Africa, with evidence of involvement of migratory birds, but poultry and their products are still the primary way the virus is moved. Lethality in domestic ducks has increased but is not equivalent to HPAI in chickens.