Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Avian influenza viruses circulating locally in West Bengal: NIV study

Domestic ducks and poultry found carrying viruses in the state
PUNE: Even as migratory birds were found to be clean, the domestic ducks and poultry are carrying avian influenza (AI) virus in West Bengal, according to a study by National Institute of Virology (NIV) and Ela Foundation, Pune.
The study has shown that the AI viruses affecting the poultry in West Bengal and North Eastern states are circulating locally, and not coming from outside. It was undertaken in view of repeated outbreaks of the virus among the poultry in the country since 2006,
"We collected a large number of samples of domestic ducks and poultry from areas in West Bengal where the AI outbreak was reported,” said Director of NIV, AC Mishra told Sakal Times.
“Many samples of the ducks were found carrying influenza virus H4N6 and anti-bodies against H5N1 virus have been found. H9N2 was found in poultry," said Mishra.
This showed the probable role of domestic ducks and poultry in the transmission of the avian influenza virus. Simultaneously, a limited sample collected from migratory birds were found to be not infected.
The study titled 'Avian influenza surveillance reveals presence of low pathogenic avian influenza viruses in poultry during 2009-2011 in the West Bengal State' has been jointly authored by Shailesh D Pawar, Sandeep D Kale, Amol S Rawankar, Santosh S Koratkar, Chandrashekhar G Raut, Jayati Mullick and AC Mishra from NIV along with Satish A Pande from Ela Foundation. 
The study has been published in the Virology Journal.
"Human infections of H9N2 have been reported from China and Egypt and limited presence was found among Pune poultry workers. This necessitates implementation of prevention and control measures to limit the spread of AI viruses," Mishra said.

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