Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/14/2018
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Avian influenza virus is naturally found in wild birds, primarily waterfowl, but the virus may also be found in poultry. The virus in poultry is typically differentiated into two types, low pathogenic avian influenza and highly pathogenic avian influenza. In chickens the low pathogenic form typically does not cause disease, but the highly pathogenic form by definition causes mortality of over 75% in experimental infections. The differences between the low pathogenic and highly pathogenic forms of the virus can be just a few amino acid changes at the hemagglutinin cleavage site. The highly pathogenic form of the virus typically was found in outbreaks in limited geographic areas and was eradicated mostly by culling of infected animals and strict quarantines. However, an exception to this rule is the Asian lineage highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza virus that was first detected in 1996 in China. This virus has since spread to three continents and has increased its virulence for ducks and wild birds while continuing to be highly lethal for chickens. Vaccination has been a commonly used tool to control avian influenza, but this has not adequately controlled the spread of the virus. An overview of avian influenza in the U.S. and globally will be presented in the areas of epidemiology, diagnostics, vaccination, and food safety.