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Avian Pathol. 2004 Aug;33(4):393-404.

Avian influenza: recent developments.

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  • 1OIE and National Reference Laboratory for Avian Influenza, Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie, Viale dell'Universit√† 10, 35020 Legnaro, Padova, Italy. icapua@izsvenezie.it


This paper reviews the worldwide situation regarding avian influenza infections in poultry from 1997 to March 2004. The increase in the number of primary introductions and the scientific data available on the molecular basis of pathogenicity have generated concerns particularly for legislative purposes and for international trade. This has led to a new proposed definition of 'avian influenza' to extend all infections caused by H5 and H7 viruses regardless of their virulence as notifiable diseases, although this has encountered some difficulties in being approved. The paper also reviews the major outbreaks caused by viruses of the H5 or H7 subtype and the control measures applied. The zoonotic aspects of avian influenza, which until 1997 were considered to be of limited relevance in human medicine, are also discussed. The human health implications have now gained importance, both for illness and fatalities that have occurred following natural infection with avian viruses, and for the potential of generating a reassortant virus that could give rise to the next human influenza pandemic.

Copyright 2004 Houghton Trust Ltd

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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