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Research article2009Peer reviewedOpen access

Outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza in Europe: the risks associated with wild birds

Artois, M.; Bicout, D.; Doctrinal, D.; Fouchier, R.; Gavier-Widen, D.; Globig, A.; Hagemeijer, W.; Mundkur, T.; Munster, V.; Olsen, B.

Abstract

The infection of wild birds by highly pathogenic strains of avian influenza (AI) virus was virtually unknown - apart from one instance of the disease appearing in common terns in South Africa in 1961 - before the Asian strain of highly pathogenic AI virus (AIV), H5N1, began to expand across the world.Outbreaks of clinical disease in Eurasia have resulted in visible mortality among populations of free-ranging wild birds in a multitude of species. The circulation pattern of influenza viruses in natural ecosystems results from a selection pressure towards strains which are indirectly transmitted by droppings from water birds and contaminated fomites, and which exhibit low pathogenicity. Some of these viruses, of the subtypes H5 or H7, can mutate into highly pathogenic strains after being introduced into domestic poultry farms. The maintenance of highly pathogenic AN (HPAIV) H5N1 in several parts of the world exposes wild birds to infected poultry, resulting in long-distance virus transmission. There is great concern that these wild birds may, in turn, propagate these HPAIV or introduce them into domestic birds. Rigorous disease control and biosecurity measures to protect poultry farms are the only solution presently available to mitigate such a risk.

Keywords

Avian influenza; Control; Ecology; H5N1; Highly pathogenic avian influenza; Transmission; Wild birds

Published in

Revue Scientifique et Technique- Office International des Epizooties
2009, Volume: 28, number: 1, pages: 69-92

    Sustainable Development Goals

    Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
    Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Animal and Dairy Science
    Veterinary Science

    Publication identifier

    DOI: https://doi.org/10.20506/rst.28.1.1854

    Permanent link to this page (URI)

    https://res.slu.se/id/publ/26624