Genetic analysis identifies potential transmission of low pathogenic avian influenza viruses between poultry farms

Saskia A. Bergervoet, Rene Heutink, Ruth Bouwstra, Ron A.M. Fouchier, Nancy Beerens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Poultry can become infected with low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) viruses via (in)direct contact with infected wild birds or by transmission of the virus between farms. This study combines routinely collected surveillance data with genetic analysis to assess the contribution of between-farm transmission to the overall incidence of LPAI virus infections in poultry. Over a 10-year surveillance period, we identified 35 potential cases of between-farm transmission in the Netherlands, of which 10 formed geographical clusters. A total of 21 LPAI viruses were isolated from nine potential between-farm transmission cases, which were further studied by genetic and epidemiological analysis. Whole genome sequence analysis identified close genetic links between infected farms in seven cases. The presence of identical deletions in the neuraminidase stalk region and minority variants provided additional indications of between-farm transmission. Spatiotemporal analysis demonstrated that genetically closely related viruses were detected within a median time interval of 8 days, and the median distance between the infected farms was significantly shorter compared to farms infected with genetically distinct viruses (6.3 versus 69.0 km; p < 0.05). The results further suggest that between-farm transmission was not restricted to holdings of the same poultry type and not related to the housing system. Although separate introductions from the wild bird reservoir cannot be excluded, our study indicates that between-farm transmission occurred in seven of nine virologically analysed cases. Based on these findings, it is likely that between-farm transmission contributes considerably to the incidence of LPAI virus infections in poultry.

LanguageEnglish
Pages1653-1664
Number of pages12
JournalTransboundary and Emerging Diseases
Volume66
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019

Fingerprint

Influenza in Birds
Poultry
Orthomyxoviridae
Influenza A virus
genetic techniques and protocols
poultry
farms
wild birds
Virus Diseases
Viruses
Birds
Farms
Spatio-Temporal Analysis
incidence
viruses
sialidase
monitoring
Incidence
virus transmission
Neuraminidase

Keywords

  • avian influenza virus
  • between-farm transmission
  • genetic analysis
  • low pathogenic avian influenza
  • poultry

Cite this

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title = "Genetic analysis identifies potential transmission of low pathogenic avian influenza viruses between poultry farms",
abstract = "Poultry can become infected with low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) viruses via (in)direct contact with infected wild birds or by transmission of the virus between farms. This study combines routinely collected surveillance data with genetic analysis to assess the contribution of between-farm transmission to the overall incidence of LPAI virus infections in poultry. Over a 10-year surveillance period, we identified 35 potential cases of between-farm transmission in the Netherlands, of which 10 formed geographical clusters. A total of 21 LPAI viruses were isolated from nine potential between-farm transmission cases, which were further studied by genetic and epidemiological analysis. Whole genome sequence analysis identified close genetic links between infected farms in seven cases. The presence of identical deletions in the neuraminidase stalk region and minority variants provided additional indications of between-farm transmission. Spatiotemporal analysis demonstrated that genetically closely related viruses were detected within a median time interval of 8 days, and the median distance between the infected farms was significantly shorter compared to farms infected with genetically distinct viruses (6.3 versus 69.0 km; p < 0.05). The results further suggest that between-farm transmission was not restricted to holdings of the same poultry type and not related to the housing system. Although separate introductions from the wild bird reservoir cannot be excluded, our study indicates that between-farm transmission occurred in seven of nine virologically analysed cases. Based on these findings, it is likely that between-farm transmission contributes considerably to the incidence of LPAI virus infections in poultry.",
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Genetic analysis identifies potential transmission of low pathogenic avian influenza viruses between poultry farms. / Bergervoet, Saskia A.; Heutink, Rene; Bouwstra, Ruth; Fouchier, Ron A.M.; Beerens, Nancy.

In: Transboundary and Emerging Diseases, Vol. 66, No. 4, 01.07.2019, p. 1653-1664.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Genetic analysis identifies potential transmission of low pathogenic avian influenza viruses between poultry farms

AU - Bergervoet, Saskia A.

AU - Heutink, Rene

AU - Bouwstra, Ruth

AU - Fouchier, Ron A.M.

AU - Beerens, Nancy

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AB - Poultry can become infected with low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) viruses via (in)direct contact with infected wild birds or by transmission of the virus between farms. This study combines routinely collected surveillance data with genetic analysis to assess the contribution of between-farm transmission to the overall incidence of LPAI virus infections in poultry. Over a 10-year surveillance period, we identified 35 potential cases of between-farm transmission in the Netherlands, of which 10 formed geographical clusters. A total of 21 LPAI viruses were isolated from nine potential between-farm transmission cases, which were further studied by genetic and epidemiological analysis. Whole genome sequence analysis identified close genetic links between infected farms in seven cases. The presence of identical deletions in the neuraminidase stalk region and minority variants provided additional indications of between-farm transmission. Spatiotemporal analysis demonstrated that genetically closely related viruses were detected within a median time interval of 8 days, and the median distance between the infected farms was significantly shorter compared to farms infected with genetically distinct viruses (6.3 versus 69.0 km; p < 0.05). The results further suggest that between-farm transmission was not restricted to holdings of the same poultry type and not related to the housing system. Although separate introductions from the wild bird reservoir cannot be excluded, our study indicates that between-farm transmission occurred in seven of nine virologically analysed cases. Based on these findings, it is likely that between-farm transmission contributes considerably to the incidence of LPAI virus infections in poultry.

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