The global spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 in poultry, wild birds and humans, poses a significant panzootic threat and a serious public health risk. An efficient surveillance and disease control system requires a deep understanding of their spread mechanisms, including environmental factors responsible for the outbreak of the disease. Previous studies suggested that H5N1 viruses occurred under specific environmental circumstances in Asia and Africa. These studies were mainly derived from poultry outbreaks. In Europe, a large number of wild bird outbreaks were reported in west Europe with few or no poultry infections nearby. This distinct outbreak pattern in relation to environmental characteristics, however, has not yet been explored. This research demonstrated the use of logistic regression analyses to examine quantitative associations between anthropogenic and physical environmental factors, and the wild bird H5N1outbreaks in Europe. A geographic information system is used to visualize and analyze the data. Our results indicate that the H5N1 outbreaks occur in wild birds in Europe under predictable environmental conditions, which are highly correlated with increased NDVI in December, decreased aspect and slope, increased minimum temperature in October and decreased precipitation in January. It suggests that H5N1 outbreaks in wild birds are strongly influenced by food resource availability and facilitated by the increased temperature and the decreased precipitation. We therefore deduce that the H5N1 outbreaks in wild birds in Europe may be mainly caused by contact with wild birds. These findings are of great importance for global surveillance of H5N1 outbreaks in wild birds.
|Publication status||Published - 2010|
|Event||Joint International Conference on Theory, Data Handling and Modelling in GeoSpatial Information Science, Hongkong, China - |
Duration: 26 May 2010 → 28 May 2010
|Conference||Joint International Conference on Theory, Data Handling and Modelling in GeoSpatial Information Science, Hongkong, China|
|Period||26/05/10 → 28/05/10|