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Vet J. 2009 Aug;181(2):171-7. doi: 10.1016/j.tvjl.2008.02.013. Epub 2008 Aug 5.

Risk factors for highly pathogenic H7N1 avian influenza virus infection in poultry during the 1999-2000 epidemic in Italy.

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  • 1Istituto Zooprofilattico delle Venezie, viale dell'Università 10, 35020 Legnaro, Padova, Italy.


In 1999-2000, Italian poultry production was disrupted by an H7N1 virus subtype epidemic of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). The objectives of the present study were to identify risk factors for infection on poultry farms located in regions that had the highest number of outbreaks (Veneto and Lombardia) and the impact of pre-emptive culling as a complementary measure for eradicating infection. A Cox regression model that included spatial factors, such as the G index, was used. The results confirmed the relationship between risk of infection and poultry species, production type and size of farms. The effectiveness of pre-emptive culling was confirmed. An increased risk of infection was observed for poultry farms located near an infected farm and those at altitudes less than 150m above sea level. The measures for the control and eradication of AI virus infection need to consider species differences in susceptibility, the types of production and the density of poultry farms in the affected areas.

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