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Isolates implicate humans in rapid spread of HPAI

A recent analysis of the viral isolates from all outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in North America points to humans and farm equipment as the leading carriers of the disease from farm to farm.

Dr. David Swayne, director, U.S. National Poultry Health Research Center, said that clusters of farms that have identical avian influenza isolates are a likely indication of farm-to-farm transmission of the virus.

Dr. David Swayne, director, U.S. National Poultry Health Research Center, said that clusters of farms that have identical avian influenza isolates are a likely indication of farm-to-farm transmission of the virus.

This finding is based on clusters of farms with identical HPAI isolates that suggest farm-to-farm transmission, said David Swayne, DVM, PhD, laboratory director at Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory, USDA Agricultural Research Service, as reported on WattAgNet.

Speaking to the International Conference on Avian Influenza and Poultry Trade, Swayne said that the anticipated HPAI outbreak in the Atlantic flyway this fall could replicate the unique scenario of the virus passing from waterfowl to poultry and back to waterfowl. These waterfowl then have the ability to carry a novel influenza virus when they return to their North American winter homes in the fall of 2015, similar to a recent Korean outbreak.

Introduction of HPAI from wild birds to domestic poultry began on the West Coast of the US and spread to the Midwest, where it claimed nearly 50 million head of poultry. The HPAI virus was highly pathogenic for poultry — but not waterfowl — allowing waterfowl to carry the virus without illness but still shed it continuously, spreading the disease along traditional flyway routes. The unique reassortment of the highly pathogenic Asian virus and the low-pathogenic North American viruses contributed to its virulence in domestic poultry.


Full article at WattAgNet

The current worldwide outbreak of avian influenza is the largest in 50 years with more than 41 countries reporting outbreaks since 2012. Thirty-eight of these — or 76% — are tied to a virus that originated in a goose in Guangdong province of China in 2012.

Full article


Posted on July 28, 2015

tags: , ,
  • Import restrictions enforced after avian flu outbreaks in Africa

    Live chicken imports have been restricted in Zambia has part of the government’s efforts to limit the resurgence of a highly pathogenic form of avian influenza (HPAI).

  • Research: Highly pathogenic AI does not persist in wild birds

    While the H5 avian influenza A virus that devastated some Midwestern poultry farms in 2014 to 2015 was initially spread by migratory waterfowl, evidence now suggests that highly pathogenic flu viruses do not persist in wild birds.

  • Rigorous surveillance imperative to prevent spread of avian influenza

    The enormous economic threat that avian influenza (AI) poses to the global poultry industry, coupled with its potential for evolution into zoonotic forms that threaten people, underscore the need for rigorous surveillance to curtail spread of the disease.

  • Avian flu back in spotlight with new cases in Indiana

    USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has confirmed the presence of H7N8 avian influenza in nine flocks in southwestern Indiana — the first in the US since June 2015.

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