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Risk analysis of H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza in poultry at the Poyang Lake area, China

Huang, Shanqian, Tian, Huaiyu, Wu, Xiaoxu, Zhou, Sen, Li, Xiaowen, Zhang, Tao, Zhao, Xiaohu, Wang, Yong, Pei, Yao, Xu, Bing
Environmental earth sciences 2016 v.75 no.11 pp. 955
Influenza A virus, avian influenza, biodiversity, biosecurity, breeding, control methods, cross-sectional studies, environmental factors, freshwater, lakes, markets, migratory birds, models, poultry, poultry industry, questionnaires, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, risk analysis, risk factors, villages, virus transmission, viruses, wetlands, wild birds, China
Migratory birds have been known to spread the highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAIV) H5N1 over large distances. Moreover, previous studies have shown it to be widely circulated in live-bird markets. However, how live-bird markets in addition to wild birds affect the local persistence of avian influenza virus (AIV) remains uncertain. The abundance of fresh water and widely distributed wetlands make the Poyang lake area a suitable overwintering site for migratory birds. The intensive local poultry industry and poor biosecurity potentially increase the risk of interactions between the wild and domestic birds. These factors likely contributed to the spread and persistence of AIVs in the Poyang lake area in these years. Here, a cross-sectional survey together with sampling was conducted randomly in the Poyang lake area to investigate the local distribution of the H5N1 viruses. In total, 891 poultry isolates from 31 villages around the Poyang lake area were randomly sampled in poultry sectors and tested for the presence of avian influenza using RT-PCR assays. Environmental factors such as poultry density, road accessibility, and wild bird biodiversity together with breeding characteristics derived from these questionnaires were collected and utilized for risk analysis modelling. Our results revealed that distance to the nearest wetlands with a high number of birds and accessibility by road were the main risk factors for the occurrence HPAIV H5N1, suggesting that the high density of road networks may facilitate the transmission of this virus. Investigating the regional distribution characteristics of the virus is of great significance, therefore the general public would benefit from an early warning, prevention, and taking control measures in high-risk regions.