Approaches to controlling, preventing and eliminating H5N1 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in endemic countries

Approaches to controlling, preventing and eliminating H5N1 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in endemic countries

FAO Animal Production
and Health Paper
No. 171

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At its peak in 2006, highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) caused by viruses of the H5N1 subtype was reported in over 60 countries. Since then, most affected countries have eliminated the disease. However, in Bangladesh, the People’s Republic of China, Egypt, India, Indonesia and Viet Nam, the virus has remained entrenched and these countries continue to be endemic for the disease.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, in association with national authorities, has developed a framework, based on experiences gained so far in endemically infected countries and covering activities that, if adopted, will help to move each country along the path towards virus elimination. Each framework comprises a mix of measures aimed at outbreak control and responses; gathering and analyzing information from surveillance, disease investigations and other epidemiological studies and market chain studies; and disease prevention and risk reduction.

As the virus is unlikely to be eliminated from poultry for some time the risk of emergence of a human pandemic strain from an avian virus will persist and will need management. The extended time frame until the virus can be eliminated provides opportunities for research into new and innovative measures for the control and prevention of H5N1 HPAI and other influenza viruses. This includes better vaccines that can be delivered easily to poultry production sectors; methods of developing virus resistance in poultry through genetic manipulation and selection; and universal influenza vaccines for humans that protect against different influenza virus subtypes, thus minimizing the threat posed by the virus to human health.

      Table of contents

      Acronyms and abbreviations

      Executive summary


      Current H5N1 HPAI status

        Viet Nam
        Bangladesh and West Bengal (India) – (Indo-Gangetic Plain centred on and around the Ganges Delta)
        People’s Republic of China
        Viruses by Clade

      Knowledge generated, lessons learned during the past five years

        Constraints to virus control, prevention and elimination

      Realistic goals for the next five years

      Innovative approaches to meeting goals


      Annex 1: Country briefs

        Viet Nam
        The People’s Republic of China

      Annex 2: Possible milestones for Viet Nam 2010-2016

The designations employed and the presentation of material in this information product do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) concerning the legal or development status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. The mention of specific companies or products of manufacturers, whether or not these have been patented, does not imply that these have been endorsed or recommended by FAO in preference to others of a similar nature that are not mentioned.

The views expressed in this information product are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of FAO.

ISBN 978-92-5-106837-3

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© FAO 2011