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Aust Vet J. 2015 Nov;93(11):387-93. doi: 10.1111/avj.12379.

Avian influenza in Australia: a summary of 5 years of wild bird surveillance.

Author information

1
Wildlife Health Australia, Mosman, New South Wales, Australia. tgrillo@wildlifehealthaustralia.com.au.
2
Virology Laboratory, Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute, New South Wales Department of Primary Industries, Camden, NSW, Australia.
3
Centre for Asthma and Respiratory Disease, Hunter Medical Research Institute and University of Newcastle, Newcastle, NSW, Australia.
4
WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza, North Melbourne, VIC, Australia.
5
Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resource, Bundoora, VIC, Australia.
6
Australian Animal Health Laboratory, CSIRO Animal Food and Health Sciences, Geelong, VIC, Australia.
7
One Health Research Group, College of Public Health, Medical and Veterinary Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville, QLD, Australia.
8
Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Cairns, QLD, Australia.
9
Biosecurity SA, Primary Industries & Regions, Adelaide, SA, Australia.
10
Centre for Integrative Ecology, Deakin University, Geelong, VIC, Australia.
11
Department of Agriculture and Food, Bunbury, WA, Australia.
12
Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment, Launceston, TAS, Australia.
13
Biosecurity Queensland, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Brisbane, QLD, Australia.
14
Department of Agriculture and Food, South Perth, WA, Australia.
15
Vertebrate Pest Research Unit, New South Wales Department of Primary Industries, Forest Road, Orange, NSW, Australia.
16
Wildlife Health Australia, Mosman, New South Wales, Australia.
17
Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Canberra, ACT, Australia.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Avian influenza viruses (AIVs) are found worldwide in numerous bird species, causing significant disease in gallinaceous poultry and occasionally other species. Surveillance of wild bird reservoirs provides an opportunity to add to the understanding of the epidemiology of AIVs.

METHODS:

This study examined key findings from the National Avian Influenza Wild Bird Surveillance Program over a 5-year period (July 2007-June 2012), the main source of information on AIVs circulating in Australia.

RESULTS:

The overall proportion of birds that tested positive for influenza A via PCR was 1.9 ± 0.1%, with evidence of widespread exposure of Australian wild birds to most low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) subtypes (H1-13, H16). LPAI H5 subtypes were found to be dominant and widespread during this 5-year period.

CONCLUSION:

Given Australia's isolation, both geographically and ecologically, it is important for Australia not to assume that the epidemiology of AIV from other geographic regions applies here. Despite all previous highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreaks in Australian poultry being attributed to H7 subtypes, widespread detection of H5 subtypes in wild birds may represent an ongoing risk to the Australian poultry industry.

KEYWORDS:

Australia; avian influenza; biosecurity; surveillance; wild birds

PMID:
26503532
DOI:
10.1111/avj.12379
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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