Low Pathogenic Avian Influenza Exposure Risk Assessment in Australian Commercial Chicken Farms

Angela Bullanday Scott, Jenny-Ann Toribio, Mini Singh, Peter Groves, Belinda Barnes, Kathryn Glass, Barbara Moloney, Amanda Black, Marta Hernandez-Jover

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6 Citations (Scopus)
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This study investigated the pathways of exposure to low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) virus among Australian commercial chicken farms and estimated the likelihood of this exposure occurring using scenario trees and a stochastic modeling approach following the World Organization for Animal Health methodology for risk assessment. Input values for the models were sourced from scientific literature and an on-farm survey conducted during 2015 and 2016 among Australian commercial chicken farms located in New South Wales and Queensland. Outputs from the models revealed that the probability of a first LPAI virus exposure to a chicken in an Australian commercial chicken farms from one wild bird at any point in time is extremely low. A comparative assessment revealed that across the five farm types (non-free-range meat chicken, free-range meat chicken, cage layer, barn layer, and free range layer farms), free-range layer farms had the highest probability of exposure (7.5 × 10-4; 5% and 95%, 5.7 × 10-4-0.001). The results indicate that the presence of a large number of wild birds on farm is required for exposure to occur across all farm types. The median probability of direct exposure was highest in free-range farm types (5.6 × 10-4 and 1.6 × 10-4 for free-range layer and free-range meat chicken farms, respectively) and indirect exposure was highest in non-free-range farm types (2.7 × 10-4, 2.0 × 10-4, and 1.9 × 10-4 for non-free-range meat chicken, cage layer, and barn layer farms, respectively). The probability of exposure was found to be lowest in summer for all farm types. Sensitivity analysis revealed that the proportion of waterfowl among wild birds on the farm, the presence of waterfowl in the range and feed storage areas, and the prevalence of LPAI in wild birds are the most influential parameters for the probability of Australian commercial chicken farms being exposed to avian influenza (AI) virus. These results highlight the importance of ensuring good biosecurity on farms to minimize the risk of exposure to AI virus and the importance of continuous surveillance of LPAI prevalence including subtypes in wild bird populations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number68
Pages (from-to)1-25
Number of pages25
JournalFrontiers in Veterinary Science
Issue numberAPR
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018

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