A predictive model for preventing the spread of bird flu
Avian influenza, commonly known as Bird Flu, is a virus that can cause illness in poultry and humans. The H5- and H7-subtypes of the virus can pose an especially serious threat to public health. Avian influenza consists of very pathenogenic (HPAIv) and less pathenogenic (LPAIv) variants. LPAIv can mutate into the more serious HPAIv variant and cause widespread epidemics among poultry. As part of his doctoral research, Doctoral Candidate José Gonzalez Rojas has drawn up a framework for monitoring and detecting LPAIv in the Netherlands.
In the Netherlands, poultry farms with laying hens face a higher risk of infection and spread of LPAIv. Since veterinarians cannot accurately predict when or if LPAIv will mutate into HPAIv, early detection and culling of farms infected with LPAIv is vital in order to minimise the likelihood of mutation.
Gonzales Rojas’ framework is based on: 1) early detection in areas with a higher risk of the introduction and spread of LPAIv, and 2) verifying the absence of infection in areas with a lower risk of the introduction and spread of the virus. Previous field data and experiments under laboratory conditions have determined the risk factors for dissemination and diagnostic testing. A mathematical model using this data has been utilised to determine which tests should be conducted at each farm. These tests can use either eggs or blood samples. The programme developed by Gonzales Rojas is not only less expensive than the current surveillance programme, but will also reduce the likelihood of mutation of LPAIv to HPAIv and the resulting undesirable consequences of such mutation.
|Date and time:
||University Hall, Domplein 29, Utrecht
||Jose Gonzalez Rojas
||Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
||Surveillance of low pathogenic avian influenza in layer chickens: risk factors, transmission and early detection
||Prof. J.A. Stegeman, PhD
||Dr. A.R.W. Elbers
||Dr. G. Koch