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Avian Influenza from an Ecohealth Perspective

Simms, Les, Jeggo, Martyn
Ecohealth 2014 v.11 no.1 pp. 4-14
Orthomyxoviridae, avian influenza, ecology, hosts, mammals, natural history, poultry, viruses, wild birds
To understand and better control AI outbreaks, not only is it necessary to understand the biology of influenza viruses but also the natural history of the hosts in which these viruses multiply and the different environments in which the hosts and viruses interact. This includes the anthropogenic factors that have influenced where, whether and how avian influenza (AI) viruses can replicate and transmit between wild birds and poultry, and between poultry and mammals, including factors influencing uptake and application of appropriate control and preventive measures for AI. This disease represents one of the best examples of the need for a ‘One Health’ approach to understand and tackle disease with an increasing need to comprehend and unravel the environmental and ecology drivers that affect the virus host interactions. This forum piece seeks to bring together these aspects through a review of recent outbreaks and how a deeper understanding of all three aspects, the virus, the host and the environment, can help us better manage future outbreaks.