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BMC Vet Res. 2018 Jan 12;14(1):12. doi: 10.1186/s12917-018-1331-5.

A large-scale study of a poultry trading network in Bangladesh: implications for control and surveillance of avian influenza viruses.

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Department of Pathobiology and Population Sciences, Royal Veterinary College, University of London, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, AL9 7TA, UK.
Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases, Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
School of Veterinary Science, The University of Queensland, Gatton, 4343, Qld, Australia.
National Centre for Animal Health, Thimphu, Bhutan.
Department of Pathobiology and Population Sciences, Royal Veterinary College, University of London, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, AL9 7TA, UK.
College of Veterinary Medicine and Life Sciences, City University of Hong Kong, Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong.



Since its first report in 2007, avian influenza (AI) has been endemic in Bangladesh. While live poultry marketing is widespread throughout the country and known to influence AI dissemination and persistence, trading patterns have not been described. The aim of this study is to assess poultry trading practices and features of the poultry trading networks which could promote AI spread, and their potential implications for disease control and surveillance. Data on poultry trading practices was collected from 849 poultry traders during a cross-sectional survey in 138 live bird markets (LBMs) across 17 different districts of Bangladesh. The quantity and origins of traded poultry were assessed for each poultry type in surveyed LBMs. The network of contacts between farms and LBMs resulting from commercial movements of live poultry was constructed to assess its connectivity and to identify the key premises influencing it.


Poultry trading practices varied according to the size of the LBMs and to the type of poultry traded. Industrial broiler chickens, the most commonly traded poultry, were generally sold in LBMs close to their production areas, whereas ducks and backyard chickens were moved over longer distances, and their transport involved several intermediates. The poultry trading network composed of 445 nodes (73.2% were LBMs) was highly connected and disassortative. However, the removal of only 5.6% of the nodes (25 LBMs with the highest betweenness scores), reduced the network's connectedness, and the maximum size of output and input domains by more than 50%.


Poultry types need to be discriminated in order to understand the way in which poultry trading networks are shaped, and the level of risk of disease spread that these networks may promote. Knowledge of the network structure could be used to target control and surveillance interventions to a small number of LBMs.


Avian influenza; Bangladesh; Poultry network; Surveillance

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