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Avian Dis. 2012 Dec;56(4 Suppl):818-28.

Impact of vaccines and vaccination on global control of avian influenza.

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  • 1OIE Collaborating Center for Research on Emerging Avian Diseases, Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 934 College Station Road, Athens, GA 30605, USA.


There are 30 recorded epizootics of H5 or H7 high pathogenicity avian influenza (HPAI) from 1959 to early 2012. The largest of these epizootics, affecting more birds and countries than the other 29 epizootics combined, has been the H5N1 HPAI, which began in Guangdong China in 1996, and has killed or resulted in culling of over 250 million poultry and/or wild birds in 63 countries. Most countries have used stamping-out programs in poultry to eradicate H5N1 HPAI. However, 15 affected countries have utilized vaccination as a part of the control strategy. Greater than 113 billion doses were used from 2002 to 2010. Five countries have utilized nationwide routine vaccination programs, which account for 99% of vaccine used: 1) China (90.9%), 2) Egypt (4.6%), 3) Indonesia (2.3%), 4) Vietnam (1.4%), and 5) Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (< 0.01%). Mongolia, Kazakhstan, France, The Netherlands, Cote d'Ivoire, Sudan, North Korea, Israel, Russia, and Pakistan used < 1% of the avian influenza (AI) vaccine, and the AI vaccine was targeted to either preventive or emergency vaccination programs. Inactivated AI vaccines have accounted for 95.5% of vaccine used, and live recombinant virus vaccines have accounted for 4.5% of vaccine used. The latter are primarily recombinant Newcastle disease vectored vaccine with H5 influenza gene insert. China, Indonesia, Egypt, and Vietnam implemented vaccination after H5N1 HPAI became enzootic in domestic poultry. Bangladesh and eastern India have enzootic H5N1 HPAI and have not used vaccination in their control programs. Clinical disease and mortality have been prevented in chickens, human cases have been reduced, and rural livelihoods and food security have been maintained by using vaccines during HPAI outbreaks. However, field outbreaks have occurred in vaccinating countries, primarily because of inadequate coverage in the target species, but vaccine failures have occurred following antigenic drift in field viruses within China, Egypt, Indonesia, Hong Kong, and Vietnam. The primary strategy for HPAI and H5/H7 low pathogenicity notifiable avian influenza control will continue to be immediate eradication using a four-component strategy: 1) education, 2) biosecurity, 3) rapid diagnostics and surveillance, and 4) elimination of infected poultry. Under some circumstances, vaccination can be added as an additional tool within a wider control strategy when immediate eradication is not feasible, which will maintain livelihoods and food security, and control clinical disease until a primary strategy can be developed and implemented to achieve eradication.

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