Advances in Animal and Veterinary Sciences

Research Article
Adv. Anim. Vet. Sci. 9(10): 1517-1524
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Eman Abdel-Raouf Taha1*, Nahed Hamed Ghoneim2, Eman Hamza2, Abdelsatar Arafa3

1Department of Epidemiology, General Organization for Veterinary Services, Giza, Egypt; 2Department of Zoonoses, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt; 3National Laboratory for Veterinary quality control on Poultry production, Animal Health Research Institute, Giza, Egypt

Abstract | Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 subtype introduction into Egypt was documented to be of wild bird origin in 2005, the first description of AI in commercial poultry was in 2006. The period between 2006 and 2017 showed huge outbreaks of H5N1 with a high loss in poultry population, as well as 359 human cases. This study aimed to investigate the possible risk factors associated with H5N1 infection in poultry as well as human infection in poultry handlers. A total number of 824 tracheal swabs were collected from three poultry species, chickens (n=345), ducks (n=246), and turkeys (n=233) during the period from March 2016 to March 2017. Data were collected from farms and household sectors located in the Upper region (Assyut and Menia), the Central region (Cairo and Giza), and the Lower region (Sharqia and Qaliobia). The poultry samples were tested using Real-Time RT-PCR for detection of the HPAI H5N1. Serum samples were collected from 53 humans in contact with poultry and examined for antibodies against HPAI H5N1 using hemagglutination inhibition test. The risk factors for infection with HPAI H5N1 were investigated using two questionnaires for the collection of epidemiological data from poultry and humans, which was analyzed using Biostatistics software. The prevalence of HPAI H5N1 infection in poultry was 4.7 % (39 / 824). The temporal distribution, spring (7.9%) and winter (5.9%) compared to that in summer (2.3%) and autumn (1.7%). The prevalence was in the household sector (7.6%) higher than in the farm sector (1.9%). All tested human serum samples were negative to H5N1 antibodies. In conclusion, the risk factors include season (spring), bird species (duck), the household products sector, as well as frequent transmission of birds along governorates. Furthermore, the Upper Egypt region is a high risk for HPAI H5N1 infection, indicating the necessity for regular examination of possible risk factors. This can help in the control of H5N1 infection in poultry and minimize its impact on the public health.

Keywords | HPAI, H5N1, Poultry, Egypt, Avian influenza.