|Avian Influenza (1)|
Avian Influenza Virus
Bird flu (avian influenza virus)
"Bird flu" is the general term for Type A influenza virus strains which infect poultry and other avian species. The term is synonymous with "avian influenza." The natural reservoir species for bird flu are ducks, shorebirds and gulls. The virus does not cause disease in these species, except in extremely rare cases. Poultry including chickens and turkeys may become infected with the virus. Most strains of avian influenza cause only mild disease, but rare strains can cause devastating disease. Based on the severity of disease a particular bird flu strain causes in chickens and turkeys, it is classified as either low pathogenicity avian influenza (LPAI) or highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). Because avian influenza virus has important animal health and trade implications, poultry throughout the
Historically, sporadic cases of low pathogenic strains of avian influenza virus have been detected in poultry in the
The Asian H5N1 Bird Flu- An executive summary produced by the Respiratory Diseases Committee of the American Association of Avian Pathologists.
SEPRL and avian influenza virus (AIV) research
Avian Influenza research has focused on four major objectives:
SEPRL works with numerous academic researchers and institutions, other government agencies and industry to accomplish these goals and to provide practical solutions to scientific questions regarding AIV.
Some recent research accomplishments include:
•• The development of a rapid, sensitive and specific diagnostic for AIV called real-time RT-PCR, which has been utilized during outbreaks of AIV in the
•• The development and evaluation of novel vaccine types and formulations and developing the strategies for applying these vaccines, including determining which vaccine virus strains provide the best protection.
•• Demonstrating that during improper vaccine use AIV can undergo genetic changes that will decrease the protection provided by a vaccine, similar to what is seen with human influenza vaccine.
•• Determining that the risk of exposure to AIV through the food supply is negligible or minimal, and that AIV is rapidly inactivated by normal cooking and in the case of egg products, pasteurization.
•• Maintaining surveillance of free-flying birds throughout the
•• Characterizing AIV strains for numerous outbreaks in the
Lead Scientist: David Suarez
Scientists: David Swayne
SEPRL and the Asian Bird Flu
SEPRL has been engaged in research focusing on the Asian H5N1 bird flu since 1997 when the virus first appeared. Research performed by SEPRL has involved; evaluating the virulence of the virus for domestic poultry and numerous other bird species, identification of risk factors which could affect international trade, evaluating poultry health issues, developing diagnostic tests, developing and evaluating vaccines and assessing the food safety risk of the Asian bird flu.