Infectious Diseases 2023

Infectious Diseases 2023

OFFLU: Spread of Avian Influenza H5 in South American wildlife and antarctic incursion

21 December, 2023 This report (attached below) summarises the spread and impact of high pathogenicity avian influenza of the subtype H5 (HPAI H5) clade in South America, its incursion into South Georgia, and the risk for further spread in the Antarctic region and for incursion into Oceania. The focus of the report is on HPAI H5 in wildlife, and covers neither spread in poultry nor sporadic spillover to humans, as these are the subjects of other reports. Read More

Avian Influenza vaccination - a review in Av Dis

17 December, 2023 A new review on avian influenza vaccination was published in the Avian Diseases journal. Vaccination against avian influenza strains can be used to prevent infections and maintain production during outbreaks of both low and high pathogenicity avian influenza. High pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) vaccination programs and their associated surveillance may undergo intense international scrutiny due to the transboundary nature of the disease and its reportable status to the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH). The use of avian influenza vaccination, particularly for certain subtypes, can have implications for international trade of poultry products, leading to tensions within the poultry industry over the inclusion of vaccination as a supplement to a stamping-out policy. Read More

Origins of virulence in Marek’s Disease: Insights from ancient chicken remains

Fiddaman et al., Science 382, 1276–1281 (2023) 17 December, 2023 A new study published in Science discusses the use of viral paleogenomics to study the origins of virulence in Marek's disease virus (MDV), a highly contagious virus that affects chickens. By sequencing MDV genomes from archeological chicken remains, researchers have discovered that the virus has been circulating for over 1000 years.
The increase in virulence and clinical pathology of MDV infection has likely been driven by a combination of factors. First, the growth in the global chicken population since the 1950s led to more viral replication, which increased the supply of new mutations in the population. In addition, the use of imperfect (also known as “leaky”) vaccines that prevent symptomatic disease but do not prevent transmission of the virus likely shifted selective pressures and led to an accelerated rate of MDV virulence evolution. Combined, these factors have altered the evolutionary trajectory, resulting in modern hyperpathogenic strains. Read More

Bacterial families translocating to femur heads in broiler chicks

16 December, 2023 Bacterial chondronecrosis with osteomyelitis (BCO) is an important cause of severe lameness in fast-growing broilers. The rapid growth of broilers has contributed to the emergence of bacterial BCO in several ways. The intensive genetic selection for economic traits, such as rapid weight gain and feed use efficiency, has led to a significant increase in broiler growth rates. As a consequence, the developing cartilage in broilers is susceptible to microfractures in the growth plates of the proximal femur and tibia, which can be colonized by haematogenous opportunistic bacteria. These microfractures, combined with the compromised skeletal integrity, provide an environment conducive to the development of bacterial chondronecrosis with osteomyelitis. Bacterial translocation through the epithelial lining of the gastro-intestinal tract, and bacteraemia, are of significant importance in the pathogenesis of BCO. Read More

EFSA: quarterly report on avian influenza

15 December, 2023 Between September 2 and December 1, 2023, there were documented outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) A(H5) in domestic (88) and wild (175) birds across 23 European countries. Notably, the increase in HPAI virus detections in waterfowl was delayed compared to previous years, potentially linked to a later onset of autumn migration for various wild bird species. The reporting period highlighted common cranes as the most frequently affected species, experiencing mortality events in several European countries, notably Hungary, Italy, and Spain; Between 20,000 and 30,000 cranes have died in Hungary.
Of the eleven genotypes of HPAI virus identified in Europe, seven were newly identified. Read More

HPAI is rapidly spreading through commercial flocks in the U.S.

14 December, 2023 The HPAI virus continues to spread and is severely impacting commercial farms in the US. From November 1st to December 8th, more than 7 million commercial laying hens, along with over 2 million commercial turkeys, were culled. The current policy in the USA still prohibits the use of vaccines as a means of controlling the disease. It appears that this policy is contributing to the ongoing spread of the virus in commercial farms.
Dealing with such large farms cannot result in the rapid destruction of flocks. Consequently, the virus continues to spread in the environment, affecting more commercial flocks. Wild birds are becoming infected, perpetuating the spread of the virus and contributing to its evolution. There is an escalating risk of the virus adapting further to mammals. Read More

The European Union One Health 2022 zoonoses report: Salmonella

12 December, 2023 This report by the European Food Safety Authority and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control presents the results of the zoonoses monitoring and surveillance activities carried out in 2022 in 27 Member States (MSs), the United Kingdom (Northern Ireland) and 11 non-MSs.
Salmonellosis was the second most commonly reported foodborne gastrointestinal infection in humans in the European Union and was a major cause of foodborne outbreaks in European Union Member States and non-Member State countries. Read More

The European Union One Health 2022 zoonoses report: Campylobacter

12 December, 2023 This report by the European Food Safety Authority and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control presents the results of the zoonoses monitoring and surveillance activities carried out in 2022 in 27 Member States (MSs), the United Kingdom (Northern Ireland) and 11 non-MSs.
The number of reported cases of campylobacteriosis, which is the single most frequently reported zoonotic disease, remained stable in 2022 compared to the previous year, with 137,107 cases. Chicken meat was the most common source of the infections. Read More

NGS for microbial detection in avian samples

Vet. Sci. 2023, 10, 690. 9 December, 2023 A comprehensive review published in Veterinary Sciences highlights key developments, limitations, challenges, and potential future applications of Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) in avian medicine and poultry meat production. The article specifically explores the application of NGS technology for the detection of microbial agents in avian clinical samples. NGS offers rapid genetic characterization of host pathogens, contrasting with RT-PCR, which has the dual disadvantage of providing no genetic information on the identified agent and being sensitive to mutations at the primer or probe sites used for the tests. NGS can be employed in clinical diagnosis and veterinary surveillance through two main approaches: direct-targeted NGS (tNGS) and direct-non-targeted NGS (ntNGS). Read More

Poland: continues to pose a risk in the distribution of food contaminated with salmonella

8 December, 2023 Food Standards Scotland (FSS) along with the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) is reminding consumers to take care when handling and cooking poultry products at home, including chilled and frozen chicken and turkey drumsticks, breasts, thighs and chicken pieces. This is because of a recent rise in cases of food poisoning caused by Salmonella Enteritidis linked to poultry products imported from Poland.
An investigation is ongoing into multiple strains of Salmonella linked to poultry products imported to the UK from Poland. There have been over 200 human cases of Salmonellosis caused by specific genetic strains of Salmonella Enteritidis that have been linked to poultry products such as meat and eggs, this year. Read More

France elevated the avian influenza risk level from 'moderate' to 'high'

7 December, 2023 France has mandated the administration of a third dose of avian influenza vaccine for commercial ducks in high-risk areas. The country elevated the avian influenza risk level from 'moderate' to 'high' following the emergence of new cases in turkey flocks. The three-dose regimen will be implemented from this week until March 15, 2024, specifically in identified high-risk areas focusing on ducks. Read More

Effects of climate change on bird migration and HPAI

Nature Microbiology Volume 8 | December 2023 | 2223–2225 5 December, 2023 A publication authored by Prosser et al., as featured in Nature Microbiology, explores the ramifications of climate change on both bird migration and the prevalence of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). The article underscores the unprecedented scale of recent HPAI outbreaks and their potential implications for agriculture and human health. Furthermore, it illuminates the connection between patterns of climate change and the dissemination of HPAI, suggesting potential influences on virus evolution and dynamics.
According to the authors, there is evidence of mutation towards mammalian adaptation in recent HPAI outbreaks. This is associated with the introduction of HPAI H5 clade viruses into the Americas in 2021-2022, which marked an unprecedented expansion in the geography and impact of HPAI. The viruses have shown strong adaptation to wild ducks, including increased replication with lower-dose exposures, shorter time to infection, greater shedding from respiratory and Read More

Avian Influenza kills 220 flamingos in Argentina

2 December, 2023 Around 220 flamingos were discovered lifeless in the province of Catamarca, located in northwestern Argentina, as a result of an avian influenza outbreak. The affected species, identified as Phoenicoparrus jamesi, represents one of three flamingo species inhabiting northwestern Argentina. In this recent outbreak, the virus responsible was identified as H5N1. Read More

Egg-Linked Salmonella Enteritidis: genomic insights

Frontiers in Microbiology | 2023 30 November, 2023 Salmonella Enteritidis (SE) stands out as the primary S. enterica serovar responsible for frequent disease outbreaks associated with food, particularly eggs and other poultry products. This food–pathogen correlation has been established through epidemiological evidence. A recent study has uncovered a genomic similarity among SE strains linked to eggs, indicating a close relationship with poultry strains. Furthermore, the egg-associated strains carry virulence genes comparable to those found in SE strains associated with humans. Read More

Comparing pathogenicity of 2021 H5N1 to previous H5N8 viruses in Chickens and Turkeys

Viruses 2023, 15, 2273. 18 November, 2023 A recent study explored the pathobiology of early U.S. H5N1 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Viruses (HPAIV) belonging to clade in 2021, along with two H5N8 HPAIVs associated with prior outbreaks in the U.S. (clade, 2014) and Europe (clade, 2016) in both chickens and turkeys. Variations in clinical manifestations, mean death times (MDTs), and the transmissibility of the virus were identified between chickens and turkeys. Turkeys, as a general trend, exhibit greater susceptibility to infection from various low pathogenicity and HPAIV isolates sourced from wild waterfowl and poultry, and they tend to transmit the virus more effectively to direct contacts. The study revealed that the 2014 H5N8 virus displayed heightened infectivity and transmissibility among turkeys compared to chickens. While the infectivity of the 2016 H5N8 and 2021 H5N1 viruses was more comparable between chickens and turkeys, the transmission to contacts remained more efficient in turkeys. Read More

USA: Bird Flu causes extensive slaughter of egg type layers

11 November, 2023 Avian influenza incidents persist in the US, with over 2 million laying hens being culled in just one week. The first event occurred in Minnesota, involving 1 million layers, followed by a second event in Iowa with 1.2 million layers. Against the backdrop of studies focusing on vaccines showing positive efficacy data, a question emerges regarding whether the scientifically appropriate professional solution involves the killing of animals as a strategy to combat the epidemic. While vaccines prove effective with certain limitations, there exists a robust scientific foundation to advocate for judicious and proper solutions. Read More

Canada: B.C. reports 16 Avian Influenza outbreaks since October

9 November, 2023 Avian influenza has rapidly reemerged across poultry farms in British Columbia, with the virus detected in approximately six commercial flocks within this week alone. Notably, birds in eight commercial poultry farms located in the Fraser Valley and smaller flocks in Merritt and Port McNeill have recently been confirmed positive for avian influenza. According to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), this raises the total number of confirmed outbreaks to 16 since late October.
The affected farms in the Fraser Valley encompass operations in Chilliwack, Agassiz, Mission, Abbotsford, and Langley. The birds tested positive for the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain, initially identified in Canada in 2021, contributing to the loss of millions of birds since its emergence. Read More

Effectiveness of vaccines against H5 HAPI in chickens

5 November, 2023 Employing vaccines to control HPAI emerges as a pivotal and significant approach. France has initiated the vaccination of commercial ducks as a recent measure. A new study in the scientific journal Vaccine by a team of American researchers examines the effectiveness of different vaccines. Three vaccines were evaluated for efficacy against TK/IN/22 which is representative of the H5 clade lineage currently circulating (through October 2023) in much of the Americas.
1. An in-house inactivated reverse genetics (rg) vaccine produce with HA gene of TK/IN/22, modified to low pathogenic and a North American lineage N9 neuraminidase (NA) from A/blue winged teal/Wyoming/AH0099021/2016 (H7N9) (SEP-22-N9), in a PR8 backbone (6 genes).
2. rgH5N1 produced with the GF/WA/14 (clade HA gene) and 7 genes from PR8 – Produced by Zoetis.
3. Sequivity vaccine: an alphavirus-derived replicon RNA vaccine (Merck), express the TK/IN/22 H5 HA modified to low pathogenic (an updated commerci Read More

Avian influenza in Mexico and the USA

4 November, 2023 Mexico recently experienced its first case of the highly infectious H5N1 avian influenza within a farm this season, marking a stark contrast to its previous declaration of being free from the disease just a month before. The outbreak, identified in the northwestern state of Sorona, resulted in mortality of 15,000 laying hens out of a flock totaling 90,000, prompting the culling of the remaining birds. On the other hand, the United States has encountered multiple instances of highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreaks in both commercial and outdoor flocks across seven different states in recent days. Read More

Sales of veterinary antibiotics for food-animals in UK - 2022

3 November, 2023 UK sales of veterinary antibiotics for food-producing animals in 2022, adjusted for the animal
population, were the lowest recorded to date at 25.7 mg/kg. This represents a 9% (2.6
mg/kg) decrease since 2021 and a 59% (36.6 mg/kg) decrease since 2014.
Sales of Highest Priority-Critically Important Antibiotics (HP-C I A s) for food-producing animals
remain very low at 0.12 mg/kg. This represents a reduction of 82% (0.5 mg/kg) since 2014.
Overall, in 2022, HP-CIAs accounted for less than 0.5% of the total antibiotic sales for foodproducing animals.
The total quantity of antibiotic sold for all animals (which includes both companion animals
and food-producing animals) was 193 tonnes in 2022, the lowest recorded amount to date.
This represents a 9% (19.4 tonne) decrease since 2021, and a 57% (253.6 tonne) decrease
since 2014. Sales of HP-C I A s for all animals was 0.91 tonnes representing a small increase
of 0.01 tonnes (10 kg) since 2021 but a reduction of 81% (3.9 tonnes) sin Read More

The feather epithelium contributes to the dissemination of HPAI in ducks

Emerging Microbes & Infections | 2023 2 November, 2023 In a study recently published in the international journal Emerging Microbes & Infections researchers from UMR IHAP (ENVT/INRAE – Chair of Avian Biosafety and Health) in Toulouse show that duck feathers constitute an alternative source for the multiplication and diffusion of highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAI) in the environment. Through a multidisciplinary approach that combines the analysis of infection cases in the field and experimental infections conducted in the laboratory in collaboration with the Animal Health Research Center (CRESA) in Barcelona, the researchers demonstrated that feathers of ducks infected with HPIV of the H5 subtype produce and release infectious viral particles massively through the desquamation of the epithelium. These viral particles are found in association with feather debris in airborne matrices (dust/aerosols) from infected farms. Read More

South Korea: HPAI in Korean cat shelter

Nature Communications | 2023 31 October, 2023 On July 25th and 31st, 2023, highly pathogenic avian influenza A(H5N1) infection, which has the potential to cause fatal disease in humans, was confirmed in two cat shelters in Seoul, South Korea. Briefly, at the cat shelter where the infection was first confirmed (Shelter 1), 38 out of the 40 cats died within a month, with the time between two consecutive deaths being ≤2 days13. This surge in deaths prompted the owner of Shelter 1 and its veterinarian to suspect a cause other than common respiratory infections in cats. Read More

Risk factors for Salmonella detection in commercial layer flocks in Spain

Animals 2023, 13, 3181 31 October, 2023 According to new study, several farm-level, flock-level, and sampling-level variables were found to have a strong influence on the probability of detecting Salmonella in commercial layer flocks in Spain. These included location (farm-level), housing system (flock-level), age of animals, sample type, sampler entity, year, and bimester (sampling-level). Specifically, the study found an increased risk of Salmonella detection in flocks housed in cages with older animals and in sampling events conducted by the Competent Authority in the last months of the year. Read More

Mass mortality of Sea Lions caused by HPAI A(H5N1) Virus

Emerg Infect Dis. Volume 29, Number 12 - December 2023 31 October, 2023 The panzootic, occurring from 2020 to 2023 due to the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) A(H5N1), resulted in numerous global outbreaks in 2022. Towards the end of that year, the H5N1 virus spread to South America, leading to significant bird mortalities in Peru. The considerable population of infected wild birds likely triggered a spillover event, impacting marine mammals that coexisted with them. A recent study, conducted by Peruvian researchers, documented the deaths of several thousand sea lions (Otaria flavescens) along the Peruvian coast within a brief span. These sea lions displayed neurological and respiratory symptoms. Clinical observations strongly indicated an affliction by HPAI H5N1, a diagnosis later affirmed by both government and scientific reports. Read More

H5N1 in Antarctica

30 October, 2023 The H5N1 virus was identified in brown skuas (Stercoarius antarcticus), a type of scavenging bird, on Bird Island, a part of the British overseas territory of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. These migratory birds likely carried the virus from South America, where avian influenza has already caused significant fatalities among seabirds and sea lions, with around 500,000 seabirds and 20,000 sea lions in Chile and Peru reported as casualties. Read More

Antigenic changes in HPAI viruses - OFFLU report

27 October, 2023 The goal of OFFLU Avian Influenza Matching (AIM) project (OFFLU-AIM) is to provide improved information on antigenic characteristics of avian influenza viruses to support vaccination programs against avian influenza. OFFLU-AIM serves as a platform where current epidemiological, genetic, and antigenic information on AI viruses circulating in different geographic regions is analysed and made freely accessible. This information is of value for countries considering introduction of vaccination as an additional preventive/control measure. The OFFLU report focuses on HPAI viruses of the H5Nx subtype in the goose/Guangdong/1/96 lineage (gsGD). Read More

Multi-country outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis in chicken meat

ECDC 26 October, 2023 Chicken meat and chicken meat products (kebab) are the likely source of a multi-country outbreak caused by three types of Salmonella Enteritidis, according to EFSA and ECDC. From 1 January–24 October 2023, 335 laboratory-confirmed Salmonella Enteritidis ST11 cases belonging to three distinct microbiological clusters have been reported in 14 EU/EEA countries, the United Kingdom and the United States, affecting all age groups. Most interviewed cases reported consumption of chicken meat, including chicken kebabs. Nine cases in three countries were hospitalised and one case in Austria died, highlighting the potential for severe and fatal infections from this outbreak. Following the food exposure information and the national investigations in 2023, the food safety authorities in Austria, Denmark and Italy investigated 10 food products (six contaminated by Salmonella Enteritidis ST11 cluster 1 and/or cluster 2), seven final producers in Poland and one in Austria. Traceability information rev Read More

mcr-1 prevalence in E. coli from healthy poultry in France

23 October, 2023 Colistin is an antibiotic that has been used for decades in veterinary medicine to control gastrointestinal infections in animals, and it is also used to treat infections in poultry. The first mobile colistin resistance gene, mcr-1, was discovered in Escherichia coli isolates of various origins, first in China and then worldwide across multiple bacterial species. Since 2015, nine new mcr genes (mcr-2 to mcr-10) and subvariants have been described in Enterobacterales. In the commensal E. coli strain collection isolated from livestock in France between 2007 and 2014, the average prevalence of mcr-1 was 5.9% in turkeys and 1.8% in broilers, indicating that mobile colistin resistance was already widespread in farm animals. The French national Ecoantibio2 plan was established in 2017 and funded by the French Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry. Read More

HPAI H5 virus infections in Dutch wild carnivores, 2020-2022

Emerging Microbes & Infections | 2023 20 October, 2023 A new study on HPAI H5 virus infections in wild carnivores provides valuable insights for One Health risk analyses, prevention, and control measures. The frequent spillovers and widespread infections, including some evidence of mammal-to-mammal transmission, raise concerns about the possibility of further adaptation to mammals. The study found that 16% of the tested wild carnivores were positive for HPAI H5 virus, and 31% of the tested animals had antibodies against the virus. Additionally, the virus was detected in various species of wild carnivores, including raccoons and stone martens, with the prevalence of infection varying by season and location. Read More

Avian influnza epicenter shifted from Asia to Europe

Xie et al. (2023) Nature 19 October, 2023 New research, published in the journal Nature, has found that the epicenter of HPAI outbreaks shifted from Asia to Europe and indicate that increasing persistence of HPAI H5 in wild birds is facilitating geographic and host range expansion, accelerating dispersion velocity and increasing reassortment potential. The research shows that while outbreaks in 2016 and 2017 began in China, two new strains of the virus emerged in African poultry (H5N8) in 2020-21 then in European wild birds in late 2021-22. The H5N1 avian influenza variant which emerged in Europe is the most virulent ever seen, reaching every continent except Oceania and Antarctica and killing unprecedented numbers of domestic and wild birds. Read More

Foodborne Diseases in New Zealand 2022

19 October, 2023 Campylobacteriosis: Campylobacteriosis is the most commonly notified potentially foodborne disease in New Zealand. The reduction of human cases of foodborne campylobacteriosis is a strategic priority for New Zealand Food Safety, with a performance target of a reduction in rates of foodborne campylobacteriosis by 20% from 88 to 70 per 100,000 population by the end of 2024. Between 2013 and 2019, the notification rate of campylobacteriosis was in the range of 124.6 to 153.9 notifications per 100,000 population. The trend for the previous three-year mean was generally downward over that period. In 2020, the campylobacteriosis notification rate (104.0 cases per 100,000 population) was much lower compared to the previous years, likely due to the impact of COVID-19. In 2022, the notification rate increased to 114.7 cases per 100,000 population. Read More

Salmonella in chickens in Great Britain 2022

15 October, 2023 There were 2,404 isolations of Salmonella from chickens in 2022 an increase of 43.9 % compared with 2021 (1,671 isolations) and the highest number of isolations since before 2009. Salmonella isolations from chickens increased substantially between 2018-2020 compared to the previous years (approximately 50% year on year). This overall rise was primarily the result of increased isolations in the broiler sector and is possibly linked to the ban on using formaldehyde based products in animal feed production since January 2018, across the EU and more recently in retained Great Britain legislation, as well as emergence of strains that are more persistent in farms and hatcheries.
Forty-five different Salmonella serovars were isolated in 2022, accounting for 2,356 of the 2,404 isolations. Forty-eight isolations involved untypable Salmonella cultures (including 18 rough strains). Read More

Salmonella infection outcomes in relation to isolate resistance

Clinical Infectious Diseases 14 October, 2023 According to a study published in Clinical Infectious Diseases by researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), infections caused by antibiotic-resistant strains of Salmonella are linked to more severe clinical outcomes, such as hospitalization and mortality.The study involved an analysis of epidemiological data sourced from the Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet) and antimicrobial resistance information from the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS). The research, conducted by the CDC's Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases, investigated the outcomes of individuals with non-typhoidal Salmonella infections spanning from 2004 to 2018. The researchers compared the clinical results of patients with Salmonella infections resistant to antibiotics to those caused by non-resistant strains, while adjusting for variables like age, location, racial or ethnic background, international travel history, a Read More

EFSA recommends preventive avian influenza

11 October, 2023 The European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) suggests the preventive vaccination of vulnerable poultry in regions at a heightened risk of avian influenza transmission.
The European Commission has tasked EFSA with providing an overview of existing HPAI vaccines, their effectiveness against presently prevalent viruses, and evaluating different vaccination approaches to guide decisions on potential vaccination strategies. Additionally, EFSA is responsible for assessing surveillance and risk reduction measures in areas and farms where vaccination is implemented. These matters will be covered in a distinct scientific opinion, with an anticipated completion date in March 2024. Read More

South Africa hit by a catastrophic Avian Influenza outbreak

5 October, 2023 South Africa has taken the drastic measure of culling approximately 7.5 million chickens in response to multiple outbreaks of two distinct strains of avian influenza (H5N1 and H7N6). These outbreaks posed a significant threat to the availability of eggs and poultry meat for consumers.
The impact of these outbreaks was felt in local grocery stores in Johannesburg, where limits on egg purchases were imposed, sometimes restricting customers to just one carton of six eggs. The government acknowledged the existence of supply constraints and revealed that approximately 2.5 million broiler breeders and an additional 5 million egg-laying chickens had been culled. This represents around 20-30 percent of South Africa's entire chicken stock. To address potential shortages, the government has expedited the issuance of import permits to facilitate the importation of eggs from other countries. Read More

Comparing European Campylobacter surveillance in broilers

Olsen, A., et al. (2024) Food Control 155 (2024): 110059. 5 October, 2023 The national monitoring, surveillance, and control measures implemented for Campylobacter in the broiler meat chain are not harmonized across EU/EEA countries. A new study aims to describe and compare the different surveillance programs for Campylobacter in broiler production across various European countries and identify the most promising practices to control Campylobacter along the broiler meat chain. The study describes the ongoing initiatives implemented according to current EU legislation, as well as national initiatives.
Campylobacter is an important foodborne pathogen, as it is associated with a significant disease burden across Europe. Among various sources, Campylobacter infections in humans are often related to the consumption of undercooked poultry meat or improper handling of poultry meat. Generally, Campylobacter causes acute diarrheal disease in humans. However, in children and individuals with compromised immune systems, the infection can be severe and develop into pos Read More

USDA limits poultry imports from France

3 October, 2023 The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) made an announcement on September 29 regarding the imposition of restrictions on the import of poultry from France and its European Union trading partners. This decision was prompted by France's move to administer vaccinations to meat ducks as a precaution against highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). APHIS expressed concerns that such vaccinations could potentially introduce HPAI into the United States. Read More

Czech authorities recall 11 tons of Brazilian chicken due to Salmonella

3 October, 2023 The Czech State Veterinary Administration (SVS) has issued an order for the recall of more than 11 tons of Brazilian chicken from the market due to contamination with salmonella. The affected products consist of frozen chicken breasts and chicken breast schnitzels, each packaged in two-kilogram quantities. These particular batches were primarily intended for use in catering establishments and were distributed through the Makro wholesale network. In total, there are concerns regarding over 10 tons of compromised meat. Read More

Avian flu vaccine acquisition to boost Philippines poultry

29 September, 2023 The Philippines have chosen to administer avian influenza vaccinations to poultry. They will procure these vaccines from Vaksindo, an Indonesian company specializing in animal health. Egg producers in the Philippines have reported a 20% decrease in their production, primarily attributable to the culling of over 10 million chicken layers during avian flu outbreaks. Read More

Israel reports first H5N1 Avian Influenza cases this autumn

28 September, 2023 On September 26, a case of avian influenza was initially identified among backyard poultry in Sde Ya'akov (Northern Israel). Subsequently, the virus has now been detected in another location within the same geographical vicinity. This new occurrence has been observed in a group of heavy-breeding pullets, aged 11 weeks, totaling 63,000 birds, situated in Alonim.
It is noteworthy that the affected farm is situated in close proximity to a big water reservoir. This raises concerns regarding the introduction of the virus into farms with insufficient or nonexistent biosecurity measures, especially in light of the earlier backyard flock incident. In contrast, the most recent event has taken place on a farm with an exceptionally high level of biosecurity. Read More

FSA is investigating outbreaks of Salmonella Enteritidis linked to Polish eggs

FSA 27 September, 2023 The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is currently investigating and responding to outbreaks of separate strains of Salmonella Enteritidis linked to Polish eggs and poultry products. The FSA has been in contact with Polish authorities to request further information and testing results.
One outbreak serotype is being linked to 47 confirmed cases in the UK, with 25 cases associated with a single restaurant and an additional 18 cases showing probable restaurant exposure. Polish authorities have identified Salmonella Enteritidis at one of their sites, which distributed eggs to the UK. Eggs from this source have been linked to a second UK restaurant associated with the outbreak. FSA has coordinated efforts with Polish authorities and the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) to facilitate the comparison of whole-genome sequencing results from human cases in the UK with environmental sampling results from Poland. Read More

BPC Antibiotic Stewardship Report 2023

26 September, 2023 The 2023 Antibiotic Stewardship Report, recently published by the British Poultry Council, showcases the remarkable accomplishments of the BPC Antibiotic Stewardship team. Their unwavering commitment to ensuring the well-being of birds and safeguarding the effectiveness of antibiotics throughout the supply chain is prominently featured in the report.
The main results:
79.5% reduction in the total use of antibiotics since 2012.
Zero Fluoroquinolones used in chicken meat production in 2022.
98.7% reduction in use of Critically Important Antibiotics since 2012. Read More

The Netherlands: Initial chicken vaccination trials targeting avian influenza

24 September, 2023 In a recent field trial, 1800 day-old chicks were vaccinated against the highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza. This marks a significant milestone as the Netherlands undertakes its first field trial involving avian influenza vaccines. It represents a crucial stride towards implementing large-scale poultry vaccination against the bird flu virus. Wageningen University & Research is spearheading this trial, set to span until the third quarter of 2025, with initial results anticipated in the second quarter of 2024. Read More

H5N1 in the Galapagos islands

21 September, 2023 Regarding the presence of dead birds on various Galapagos islands, the Galapagos National Park Management's technical team (DPNG) and the Agency for Galapagos Biosecurity and Quarantine Control and Regulation (ABG) are collaborating on laboratory examinations and analyses to determine the cause of death in these animals.
Preliminary findings from the examination of five specimens indicate that three of them have tested positive for H5N1 avian influenza. However, the collected samples will be forwarded to the National Institute of Public Health Research (INSPI) in Guayaquil for official confirmation. Read More

Australia: Listeria outbreak linked to poultry meat

19 September, 2023 A potential listeria outbreak appears to have originated from a shredded chicken product distributed in large quantities to various establishments such as restaurants, cafes, and hospitals. After conducting an investigation, a strain of listeria was isolated from multiple patients that can be linked back to M&J Chickens' shredded chicken, specifically their easy-serve breast fillet variety. This product is now associated with five confirmed listeria cases in Queensland, with four of them believed to have been acquired at Brisbane's Mater Hospital and the fifth possibly linked to Redcliffe Hospital. Read More

The neuropathogenesis of HPAI H5Nx viruses in mammalian species

Trends in Neurosciences | 2023 18 September, 2023 A new article published in the scientific journal 'Trends in Neurosciences' reviews the virulence of H5Nx bird flu viruses on the nervous system of mammals in general and humans in particular. The highlights of the article:
Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5Nx viruses can cause neurological complications in many mammalian species, including humans. Neurological disease induced by HPAI H5Nx viruses in mammals can manifest without clinical respiratory disease.
HPAI H5Nx viruses are more neuropathogenic than other influenza A viruses in mammals. Severe neurological disease in mammals is related to the neuroinvasive and neurotropic potential of HPAI H5Nx viruses. Read More

Risk factors for H5N1 AI in US turkey farms

Front. Vet. Sci. 10:1229071. 17 September, 2023 The 2022–2023 outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 in the United States (U.S.) stands as the largest and most expensive animal health crisis in the country's history. Approximately 70% of the commercial farms affected by this outbreak are turkey farms.
A recent study has identified potential risk factors associated with the introduction of the HPAI virus into commercial meat turkey operations. Data were gathered from 66 case farms and 59 control farms spanning across 12 states. Factors linked to an elevated risk of infection include being located within an existing control zone, housing both brooders and growers, having toms, observing wild waterfowl or shorebirds in the nearest field (within 320m of the farm), and utilizing rendering for the disposal of dead birds. Read More

First positive detection of HPAI in an elephant seal

15 September, 2023 The National Agri-Food Health and Quality Service (SENASA) in Argentina disclosed fresh findings related to a highly virulent H5 avian influenza strain in marine mammals inhabiting Chubut province's southern region. This revelation encompasses the first positive detection in an elephant seal. Read More

South Africa: Chicken and egg shortage due to avian flu

14 September, 2023 South Africa has been hit by a new strain of avian influenza, H7N6. The South African Poultry Association (Sapa) has confirmed that a shortage of chicken and eggs resulting from avian influenza could persist until the end of October. This comes as several retailers have been warning customers about market shortages.
To date, South Africa has lost more than 15 to 20 percent of the national chicken population, with four million chickens destroyed amidst the South African Avian Flu Epidemic. This translates to a shortage in egg and poultry meat supply. Major retailers, continue to report a shortage of eggs due to increasing avian flu outbreaks. Read More

Peruvian study reveals alarming viral mutations impacting birds & marine life

Nature Communications | (2023) 14:5489 13 September, 2023 A new study by Peruvian researchers identifies the flu type A/H5N1 lineage In late 2021, it spread from Europe to North America and, in 2022, to South America, devastating wild birds and poultry farms along the way. The scientists suggest that their analysis supports a single introduction of into Peru from North America during October 2022, likely through the movements of migratory wild birds. The virus then infected local seabirds that share habitats with marine mammals.
In November 2022, scientists began documenting animal deaths along the Peruvian coast, including dolphins, sea lions, sanderlings, pelicans, and cormorants. The study, made possible by researchers quickly establishing new partnerships, identified the HPAI A/H5N1 virus in the animals and analyzed its mutations since entering South America. Read More

UK: Petition against the import of Polish poultry

Vet Rec 2023 | 9/16 September 13 September, 2023 Tens of thousands of individuals within the United Kingdom have affixed their signatures to a petition, compelling three supermarket chains to discontinue the sale of chicken sourced from SupeDrob, a Polish company that has garnered criticism for its utilization of antibiotics colistin and enrofloxacin as a "last resort." Concerns have been raised about the appropriateness of such products being made available on the shelves of UK supermarkets, especially in light of SuperDrob's association with a salmonellosis outbreak in the UK in 2020. Read More

Avian Influenza among humans and animals during 2013-2022

JMIR Public Health Surveill 2023 | vol. 9 13 September, 2023 A comprehensive review of current global Avian Influenza (AI) virus surveillance data was published by Szablewski et al. in the journal JMIR Public Health and Surveillance.
Between 2013 and 2022, more AI virus outbreaks in animals were reported by WOAH Member Countries than in the previous 8 years, with 26 Member Countries reporting their first animal AI virus outbreak. From January 2013 to June 2022, there were reports of more than 21,000 AI virus outbreaks in animals and 2000 human infections with AI viruses globally. As many as 10 new HPAI virus subtypes (new hemagglutinin/neuraminidase [HA/NA] combinations) were identified in animals, representing an almost 2-fold increase in the number of subtypes identified in the 2013-2022 period compared with the previous 8 years. Read More

S. Enteritidis linked to consumption of chicken meat

ECDC 1 September, 2023 In July of 2023, Denmark identified a microbiological cluster of Salmonella Enteritidis ST11 infections with sample collection dating back to May. As of August 25, 2023, a total of 97 cases, encompassing both recent (2023) and historical isolates closely linked genetically, had been reported across 11 EU/EEA countries.
Within Denmark, the majority of the 19 cases interviewed had mentioned consuming kebab or pizza, which possibly contained chicken as an ingredient, prior to experiencing symptoms. Read More

Successful long‑term control of poultry red mite infestations in floor‑kept laying hens

Parasitology Research | 29 Aug 2023 31 August, 2023 Poultry red mite (PRM) infestations caused by Dermanyssus gallinae pose a significant challenge in the global laying hen farming industry. PRM can harm laying hens by serving as vectors for various pathogens (e.g. Salmonella). PRM infestations also pose a zoonotic risk, as humans can be affected as off-target hosts, resulting in local skin irritations and even causing avian mite dermatitis.
A recent case study published in Parasitology Research has detailed an effective strategy to manage PRM infestations within a laying hen facility. This approach involved a comprehensive approach incorporating sanitation and disinfection procedures, as well as the proactive use of a synthetic silica-based acaricide and regular mite monitoring.
The population of PRM within the experimental laying hen house underwent a remarkable reduction of 99.8% through the administration of fluralaner treatment. Read More

Asymptomatic infection with HPAI A(H5N1) in carnivore pets, Italy

Eurosurveillance | Volume 28 | Issue 35 31 August, 2023 A new study, recently published in Eurosurveillance, reports a case of influenza A(H5N1) infection in a domestic cat and five dogs. These animals were living on a rural backyard poultry farm in Italy, where an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 had been notified. The virus that was identified in hens on the same farm, potentially responsible for transmitting the virus to the pet carnivores, belonged to the BB genotype. This genotype emerged in Europe in May 2022 due to reassortment events involving gull-adapted H13 subtype viruses. The PA, NP, and NS genes were acquired from these subtype viruses. Genotype BB was initially identified in Italy in January 2023 and has since spread widely among black-headed gulls in northern Italy. This spread led to mass mortality events around Lake Garda in the same geographical area where the affected farm is located. Read More

Outbreak of Salmonella enteritidis in Denmark

24 August, 2023 Starting from May 2023, the Statens Serum Institut has documented 20 cases of the same type of Salmonella Enteritidis infection. Collaborative efforts involving the Statens Serum Institut, the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration, and the Norwegian Food Institute DTU are actively investigating this outbreak. This occurrence is part of a broader international outbreak, with suspicions pointing towards imported chicken kebabs as the potential source.
Between May and July of 2023, the Statens Serum Institut identified and recorded 20 cases of individuals infected with the identical strain of Salmonella Enteritidis. The age range spans from 10 to 99 years, with a median age of 30 years. The affected patients are spread across various regions of the country. Read More

HPAI H5 spread in South America and risk of Antarctica incursion: OFFLU report

24 August, 2023 The report discusses the spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza H5 subtype (HPAI H5) in South America since October 2022. It focuses on its impact on wildlife, not poultry or human cases. The virus caused significant mortality in wild bird and mammal populations across South America. For instance, in Peru and Chile, over 500,000 wild birds and 20,000 wild mammals of various species died. Notably, endangered species like the Peruvian pelican, vulnerable species like the Humboldt penguin, and South American sea lion were severely affected.
The virus rapidly spread from Colombia to the southern tip of South America within three months, covering more than 6000 km. Its detection in a South American sea lion in Chile's Puerto Williams (southernmost point) suggests a potential risk of reaching Antarctica and its numerous bird and mammal species. With millions of breeding birds, various pinnipeds, and cetaceans residing in Antarctica, the impact of the virus could be substantial. Read More

PETA urges fur farm shutdown due to new AI mutation in Finnish minks

23 August, 2023 In the wake of reports indicating that a substantial number of minks are facing culling due to an outbreak of avian influenza, coupled with the emergence of a novel virus mutation on mink farms in Finland, PETA has expeditiously dispatched a letter to Petteri Orpo, the Prime Minister of Finland. The letter urgently appeals for the complete and permanent cessation of all fur farming activities within the country. Finland, being a prominent fur-producing nation in Europe, trails behind its neighboring counterparts, many of whom have already enacted prohibitions on this inhumane practice. These include Austria, Belgium, Estonia, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Slovakia, Slovenia, and the UK. Read More

Austrian Salmonella outbreaks tied to Polish chicken meat

15 August, 2023 Austria is currently in the process of investigating three suspected foodborne outbreaks. These outbreaks are not only confined to Austria but have also been reported in other European Union nations. It is likely that these cases are linked to chicken kebab skewers from Poland, which have been contaminated with Salmonella Enteritidis.
Since February 2023, Austria has recorded 14 cases of individuals contracting a specific strain of Salmonella (Salmonella Enteritidis ST11 CT9791). This particular strain has also been reported from cases of illness in Denmark, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Norway, and the United Kingdom. Read More

Singapore: Eggs from Ukraine recalled

9 August, 2023 Eggs sourced from a Ukrainian farm are undergoing a recall due to the detection of Salmonella enteritidis (SE) by the Singapore Food Agency (SFA).
The eggs, which bear the identification "CEUA001" and were imported from LCC "Yasensvit" farm in Ukraine, have been confirmed SE positive.
In response, the "Yasensvit" farm has been suspended and will not be permitted to export eggs to Singapore until the SE contamination issue is resolved, according to the SFA. Read More

Chile: Over 3500 marine animals dead in July

5 August, 2023 In February of last year, Chile witnessed its first case of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), prompting authorities to undertake necessary adjustments to address the significant impact of the disease on marine fauna. The strandings of dead animals have exceeded four thousand specimens per month since then.
According to experts, the situation is expected to become more complex in the upcoming months due to the El Niño Phenomenon affecting the Northern zone's coasts. This phenomenon will likely influence the availability of food for marine fauna, compounded by the weakened physiological condition of the surviving birds, which will further contribute to increased or sustained strandings.
In an update on the situation, it has been reported that more than 18,000 marine animals under the guardianship of Sernapesca (The National Fisheries and Aquaculture Service) have died as a result of the highly pathogenic avian influenza. Read More

HPAI A(H5N1) cat outbreak, Poland 2023

Euro Surveill. 2023;28(31) 4 August, 2023 In June 2023, a fatal disease outbreak affected cats in Poland. Out of 47 cases tested, 29 were positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) A (H5N1) virus, identified as clade with genetic mutations suggesting initial adaptation to mammalian hosts. The cat viral sequences (n = 21) showed high similarity, indicating a potential common infection source. To explore possible infection routes, scientists examined food samples from affected households. They found HPAI H5N1 virus in one poultry meat sample. Read More

HPAI A(H5N1) virus hits fur farms, Finland, July 2023

Euro Surveill. 2023;28(31) 4 August, 2023 Since mid-July 2023, an outbreak caused by highly pathogenic avian influenza A(H5N1) virus clade genotype BB is ongoing among farmed animals in South and Central Ostrobothnia, Finland. Infections in foxes, American minks and raccoon dogs have been confirmed on 20 farms. Genetic analysis suggests introductions from wild birds scavenging for food in farm areas. Investigations point to direct transmission between animals. While no human infections have been detected, control measures are being implemented to limit spread and human exposure. As more affected farms were detected, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry amended the national legislation on 18 July 2023, making it possible for animal health authorities to order restrictions and culling of animals in case HPAI virus infection was detected in fur animals. Read More

S. Korea: Antigen detection in HPAI-confirmed cat food

2 August, 2023 Due to epidemiological investigations regarding the confirmation of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in cats at animal shelters in Gwanak-gu, Seoul, it has been established that pet food containing AI antigens has been identified. The affected products, namely Balanced Duck and Balanced Chicken, both manufactured by Nature's Row, were found to have been produced without adequate sterilization since May 25. Read More

USA: Persistent Salmonella Infantis strain associated with chicken

28 July, 2023 REPJFX01 is a persistent strain of Salmonella Infantis bacteria, exhibiting resistance to multiple drugs, and it has been responsible for causing widespread illnesses and outbreaks both within the United States and worldwide.
The first report of illnesses caused by this strain came to light in 2012 when it was strain was first reported to PulseNet. As of December 31, 2022, PulseNet had received information on 2,900 patients afflicted with REPJFX01 infection. Among these patients, the median age was 54 years, with a range from 27 to 70 years, and 62% of them were female. Stool samples accounted for 65% of the isolate sources, while urine samples comprised 27% of the cases. Although this strain can cause illnesses throughout the year, its prevalence is highest during the months of July and August. It has been observed that REPJFX01 primarily spreads through contaminated chicken in the United States, but cases have also been linked to international travel. Read More

South Korea: H5N1 in cats

25 July, 2023 The South Korean agriculture ministry confirmed the identification of H5N1 avian influenza in two cats at a shelter in Seoul. The cats displayed symptoms of respiratory infection, leading to their testing and subsequent confirmation of H5N1. The shelter has been witnessing a concerning trend of one or two cat deaths daily since June. In response to these findings, the authorities at the shelter have taken necessary actions, and there is increased monitoring of individuals who had contact with the infected cats. So far, no symptoms have been observed in any of these contacts. Read More

Related Fowl Typhoid outbreaks and vaccines in Southern Africa

21 July, 2023 A new study discusses the genomic analysis of Salmonella gallinarum strains causing fowl typhoid fever outbreaks in Southern Africa. The study found that the SG9R vaccine strain is closely related to the outbreak strains, indicating that the vaccine may be the cause to these infections.
In conclusion, all the field isolates from a recent spate of fowl typhoid outbreaks in South Africa and Eswatini were closely related to the SG9R vaccine strains in use, and since nowild-type strains were identified, reversion to virulence of thevaccine is the most likely cause of these outbreaks. Read More

WHO: statement and risk assessment on H5N1 In Cats in Poland

WHO 17 July, 2023 On June 27, 2023, Poland's IHR National Focal Point notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about an unusual increase in cat deaths across the country. As of July 11, a total of 47 samples from 46 cats and one caracal were tested, with 29 samples (62%) testing positive for influenza A(H5N1). The positive samples were found in 13 different areas of Poland. Some cats displayed severe symptoms like breathing difficulties, bloody diarrhea, and neurological signs, leading to rapid deterioration and death. Out of the cats tested, 20 showed neurological signs, 19 had respiratory signs, and 17 displayed both. Fourteen cats were euthanized, and an additional 11 died. Post-mortem examinations suggested pneumonia as the cause of death in some cases. Genetic analysis revealed that the 19 sequenced viruses belonged to the H5 clade and were closely related to each other and to the H5N1 viruses circulating in wild birds and causing outbreaks in poultry in Poland. Read More

Update on H5N1 in cats in Poland - July 17

17 July, 2023 NRI in Puławy received samples from 56 cats and 1 caracal (29 cats and 1 caracal tested positive).
The Jagiellonian University in Kraków received a sample from 1 cat, which tested positive.
AM Warsaw received a sample from 1 cat, which tested positive.
Scientists from the Warsaw University of Life Sciences (SGGW) examined 2 cats, both of which tested positive.
Overall, out of the 61 animals examined in Poland, 34 tested positive. Read More

Finnish fur farms confirm H5N1 avian influenza

15 July, 2023 The Finnish Food Authority (FFA) announced that H5N1 has been confirmed at five fur farms. These farms are situated in the west central region of Finland. At one of the newly affected farms, the virus was detected in both blue foxes and minks. This strain of H5N1, which has also caused significant bird deaths in the wild, was first reported in blue foxes at a fur farm in Kausti. The farm in question housed 1,500 raccoon dogs, 3,500 foxes, and unfortunately, three fatal infections were observed in the foxes. Read More

HPAI A(H5N1) viruses in cats in Poland - genome sequences

EFSA Journal 2023;21(7):8191 15 July, 2023 Complete genome sequences of 20 A(H5N1) virus-positive cats collected during the second half of June 2023 from six voivodeships in Poland indicate that the viruses belong to clade, genotype CH (H5N1-A/Eurasian_Wigeon/Netherlands/3/2022-like). These viruses are highly related to each other and cluster with a virus of the same genotype detected at the beginning of June in a white stork (Ciconia ciconia) in Poland. This genotype has circulated widely in wild birds in Europe since October 2022 and, it has been responsible for several outbreaks in poultry in Poland, mainly in the Wielkopolskie area, as well as for cases in wild birds between December 2022 and January 2023. However, since February 2023, this genotype has only been sporadically identified in the country. Read More

UK detects H5N1 avian influenza in additional individuals

15 July, 2023 Starting in March 2023, a program was initiated to monitor individuals who had been exposed to avian influenza but showed no symptoms. As of July 10, 2023, a total of 144 individuals from 8 infected locations were tested, resulting in 4 positive cases (2.7% positivity rate). This indicates an increase of 2 new detections since the previous briefing.
Since 2021, there have been a total of 5 cases of human influenza A(H5N1) detected in the UK, with one of them identified in December 2021 during a surveillance pilot. Read More

France selects Boehringer Ingelheim for avian influenza vaccines

13 July, 2023 According to Reuters, France has selected the German company Boehringer Ingelheim to provide the necessary 80 million doses of avian influenza vaccines for its upcoming vaccination campaign, set to begin in October. By launching this campaign, France will become the first country within the European Union to vaccinate poultry against avian flu. Ministry of Agriculture officials stated last month that tests conducted in France on vaccines manufactured by French company Ceva Animal Health and Boehringer Ingelheim demonstrated positive outcomes.Although the ministry did not disclose the exact value of the order, it indicated that Boehringer's proposal was deemed superior to that of Ceva based on financial considerations, as well as its ability to supply the required doses and meet storage conditions. Read More

Salmonella outbreak in England supports eggs as source in global cluster

Eurosurveillance | Volume 28, Issue 27 06/Jul/2023 8 July, 2023 A new study published on Eurosurveillance describes a local outbreak investigation of Salmonella Enteritidis in a restaurant in England in March 2023. The investigation found that eggs and chicken were the likely sources of the outbreak and that the outbreak was part of a larger international cluster. In early April 2023, UKHSA was notified via Accident and Emergency doctors, general practitioners, and a local authority environmental health (EH) department of multiple cases of gastroenteritis following food consumption at a restaurant, with attendance or take-away dates in late March. S. Enteritidis was identified as the causative organism. Read More

Italy: dogs and cats test positive for H5N1

7 July, 2023 Italy's health ministry announced that serology tests conducted on dogs and one cat at a poultry farm in Brescia, situated in Lombardy in northern Italy, indicated that they likely had a mild case of H5N1 avian influenza. The poultry farm had previously experienced an outbreak of H5N1. Additionally, officials stated that an analysis of the virus affecting the poultry revealed its closest resemblance to a virus recently found in gulls in northern Italy. Read More

Switzerland: Salmonellosis in 2022

3 July, 2023 In 2022, 1,843 cases of salmonellosis confirmed by laboratory diagnostics were reported. This corresponds to a reporting rate of 21 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants. The number of cases has increased compared to previous years. The typically seasonal increase in reports during the summer and autumn months was also observed in 2022. The most commonly reported serovars remained S. Enteritidis (39%), followed by S. Typhimurium (16%) and the monophasic S. Typhimurium (1,4,[5],12,i:-) variant (11%).
Salmonella infection in poultry: The occurrence of Salmonella in poultry should be minimized to reduce the risk of human infection through poultry meat and eggs. To achieve this, control targets have been set, aiming for less than 1% prevalence in breeding and fattening animals and less than 2% prevalence in laying hens. Read More

Single source detected: H5N1 Avian Flu in Polish cats

3 July, 2023 A preliminary analysis was conducted by the Polish National Veterinary Institute on nine cats infected with H5N1 avian influenza in Poland. The virus was found to be linked to strains present in both poultry and wild birds. Cases of feline illness and death have been reported across various areas, including among indoor cats, and the origin of the virus remains unclear.
According to the report, these viruses belong to the same genotype and show the closest resemblance to samples obtained from storks in June. Read More

Switzerland: Campylobacteriosis in 2022

3 July, 2023 Diagnostic laboratories are required to report the detection of Campylobacter in humans, and doctors are also required to report cases that occur frequently, such as those related to foodborne illnesses. In 2022, the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) received a total of 7,597 laboratory-confirmed cases of campylobacteriosis. This translates to a reporting rate of 87 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants. While there has been an increase in the number of cases compared to the past two years, which were influenced by the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic measures and behavioral changes, the number of cases in 2022 remains stable compared to the pre-pandemic years.
Typically, campylobacteriosis follows a seasonal pattern, with the first increase occurring during the summer. In July and August 2022, a total of 2,061 cases were reported. Read More

Outbreak with Salmonella Muenchen sequence type 82 in Denmark

30 June, 2023 Since March 2023, the State Serum Institute (SSI) has registered 30 cases of Salmonella Muenchen. The State Serum Institute, the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration and the Norwegian Food Institute DTU are investigating the disease outbreak.
From March to June 2023, 30 people infected with the same type of Salmonella were registered at the State Serum Institute. Among the sick are 12 men and 18 women. The patients are between 10-95 years old (median age is 72 years). The patients live throughout the country. Read More

FSIS Study on Salmonella in Breaded and Stuffed Chicken Products

30 June, 2023 A study was carried out by FSIS in collaboration with the Food Emergency Response Network (FERN) Cooperative Agreement Laboratories. The objective was to collect data on non-raw, breaded, pre-browned stuffed chicken products ("NRTE stuffed chicken") purchased from retail establishments. The main focus of FSIS was to determine the rate of Salmonella contamination in these products and identify any variations in testing strategies. In this study, 11 state laboratories, located in different geographical regions, participated through the FERN program. Read More

An outbreak of Salmonella Mbandaka linked to chicken products in Ukraine

30 June, 2023 The INFOSAN (International Food Safety Authorities Network) Secretariat has been following the development of a multi-country outbreak (n=247) of Salmonella Mbandaka ST413 linked to chicken products from Ukraine. According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, the latest numbers available of the cases reported are Czech Republic (n=5), Estonia (n=3), Finland (n=89), France (n=10), Germany (n=2), Ireland (n=1), Israel (n=4), the Netherlands (n=1), and the United Kingdom (n=132). Read More

OFFLU: Infections with Avian Influenza A(H5N1) virus in cats in Poland

29 June, 2023 Offlu published a statement regarding the avian flu incidents reported in cats in Poland:
OFFLU is closely monitoring information from Poland regarding unusual deaths in domestic cats in multiple households throughout the country. These cases have been reported widely in the press during the past week.
Felidae, both wild and domestic, are known to be susceptible to Influenza A(H5N1) viruses with most cases appearing to be the result of ingestion of infected carcasses of wild birds (Chen et al 2016, Frymus et al., 2021).
A report from the Polish Chief Veterinary Officer issued on 26 June indicated that nine of 11 affected cats subjected to testing were found to be infected with Influenza A(H5N1) virus. The severe and rapid course of the infection is also consistent with reports of this disease in Felidae. Read More

Brazil: first case of HPAI in backyard poultry

28 June, 2023 The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock announced on Tuesday (27/6) that the highly pathogenic avian influenza virus H5N1 has been identified in a small-scale farm where ducks, geese, and chickens were present. This detection occurred in Serra, a municipality located in the state of Espírito Santo. This marks the first instance of an outbreak in poultry intended for subsistence since the virus entered Brazil on May 15. Read More

Gene discovery halts Avian Influenza 'spillover' to humans - Nature Study

BTN3A3 evasion promotes the zoonotic potential of influenza A viruses - Nature 2023 28 June, 2023 Researchers have made a significant discovery regarding the role of a specific human gene in preventing the transmission of avian flu viruses from birds to humans. This gene is naturally present in all humans and is primarily located in the lungs and upper respiratory tract, where flu viruses tend to replicate. While scientists were already aware of its existence, they have now uncovered its potent antiviral capabilities. A comprehensive six-year investigation led by the MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research has revealed that the BTN3A3 gene acts as a robust barrier against the majority of avian flu viruses. Although instances of avian flu spillover into humans are relatively rare, certain strains of avian flu viruses have occasionally managed to infect people. The study identified a genetic mutation in certain bird and swine flu viruses that allow them to bypass the protective effects of the BTN3A3 gene and cause human infections. Read More

Future funding for HPAI approved by USDA

27 June, 2023 The US Department of Agriculture has recently made an announcement regarding the allocation of funds to combat highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) outbreaks. Under the Animal Health Protection Act, a total of $502 million will be provided to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). This financial support aims to enhance preparedness for future outbreaks and enable the USDA to effectively respond in case of an escalation in detections. Prior to this funding initiative, the USDA had already invested over $793 million in emergency funding. Read More

Denmark: Increased incidence of Salmonella and Campylobacter infections in 2022

24 June, 2023 Denmark recorded 5,142 registered cases of campylobacteriosis and 899 cases of salmonella in 2022. This marks the second consecutive year of growth, bringing the numbers back to pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels. These findings are outlined in the annual report on zoonoses occurrence in Denmark for 2022. Campylobacter has long been the primary bacterium responsible for foodborne diseases in Denmark. Among the 5,142 campylobacteriosis cases recorded in 2022, 28% were related to travel. The Central Outbreak Group investigated eleven outbreaks, with Danish chicken meat being identified as the source in five of them.
Since 2019, the Danish Food and Drug Administration and the Statens Serum Institute have utilized whole-genome sequencing to monitor campylobacter in sources and individuals. This DNA analysis method has led to the discovery of numerous outbreaks, with chicken meat frequently identified as the highly likely source. Read More

Poland is currently investigating an outbreak of avian influenza among cats

23 June, 2023 Veterinarians reported that dozens of cats have died, and some of the cases have been linked to H5N1 avian influenza. This is the first time that such a large number of cats have been affected by avian influenza. Concerns arose on Sunday when a veterinarian in western Poland reported the death of a cat exhibiting neurological and respiratory symptoms. Since then, numerous suspected cases have been reported in various parts of the country. Today, the General Veterinary Inspectorate confirmed that several samples from the Tri-City region in northern Poland tested positive for influenza. However, the exact type of influenza was not specified in the statement. Read More

Reported Illness Trends: Poultry- and Nonpoultry Salmonella Serotypes in the US (1996–2019)

Risk Analysis. 2023;1–9. 20 June, 2023 A new study published in Risk Analysis analyzed trends in reported incidence of illness due to poultry- and nonpoultry-associated Salmonella serotypes in the United States from 1996 to 2019. The study found that the incidence of illness due to poultry-associated Salmonella serotypes is that there has been a declining trend over time. This means that the number of reported illnesses caused by Salmonella serotypes associated with poultry has decreased. However, it is important to note that the study emphasizes that this decline in reported incidence cannot necessarily be attributed to a decreased prevalence of Salmonella in poultry products. Additionally, the study highlights that the serotypes associated with poultry are not unique to poultry and can also occur in other food and nonfood exposure pathways. Read More

Variability and impact of clade H5Nx Avian Influenza viruses on chickens

Emerging Microbes & Infections | 2023, Vol. 12 19 June, 2023 A new study discusses the infectivity, transmissibility, and pathobiology of clade H5Nx highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses in chickens. The researchers inoculated the viruses into chickens and evaluated their impact on mortality rates and viral shedding. The study found that the clade viruses showed high infectivity and transmissibility in chickens, leading to significant mortality. Additionally, the study compared the impact of clade, clade, clade and clade viruses on chickens, highlighting their differences in terms of mortality rates and transmissibility. Read More

WOAH: Future avian influenza control strategies

16 June, 2023 Recently, the World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH) released a comprehensive report that covers the ongoing conversation regarding advancements in avian flu control tactics. The report emphasizes the inclusion of poultry vaccination as a valuable supplementary approach and sheds light on the hurdles associated with implementing immunization. These discussions took place within the framework of an animal health forum conducted during WOAH's annual general session towards the end of May. Officials highlighted the vital importance of authorized vaccines that closely align with the prevailing strains, in addition to the implementation of robust surveillance methods, for the success of immunization campaigns. Consequently, they adopted a resolution aimed at shaping future avian flu control strategies. Read More

Chile: first case of H5N1 in humans

J Travel Med | 2023 Jun 13 15 June, 2023 On March 29, 2023, Chilean authorities confirmed the first national case of human infection with avian Influenza H5N1. An epidemiological investigation being conducted by the Ministry of Health ascertained that the patient's residence is located one block from the seashore where seabirds infected with H5N1 viruses had previously been detected. For that reason, an infection of environmental origin is suspected. The investigation is not yet complete as the patient remains hospitalized, but no new human cases of AI H5N1 have been reported in the country. Read More

A study on an emerging Enterococcus cecorum outbreak in the USA

Av Dis 67 | 2023 14 June, 2023 A new study published in the journal Avian Diseases discusses an emerging outbreak of Enterococcus cecorum in broiler chickens in the Southern United States. The bacterium Enterococcus cecorum is primarily associated with osteomyelitis of the thoracic vertebra in chickens. However, there have been cases where E. cecorum caused septicemic lesions and displayed a preference for cartilages, resulting in femoral head necrosis and synovitis. This article examines the manifestation of E. cecorum during an outbreak within a vertical integrator, where the predominant lesions were linked to septicemia. A total of 100 broiler chicken cases, obtained between April and December 2021 were examined using a convenience sampling method. 70% of cases were positive to avian reovirus (viral arthritis). Read More

UK: DEFRA reaffirmed their current policy on HPAI vaccines

6 June, 2023 DEFRA, the UK's Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, reaffirmed their current policy on HPAI vaccines, acknowledging the possibility of future changes. As of now, the UK's stance is against the use of HPAI vaccines, except in the case of zoos. The prevailing policy in the UK regarding Avian Influenza vaccination prohibits the vaccination of birds, except those in zoos located in England and Northern Ireland. This restriction applies to both disease prevention and disease control responses. Stamping out, continues to be the most effective approach for managing outbreaks. Consequently, the government and industry have made the development of effective DIVA (differentiating infected from vaccinated animals) vaccines a top priority as a preventive measure. Read More

Chile: marine species affected by avian influenza are expanding

1 June, 2023 There are already 8,897 specimens of common sea lions, Humboldt penguins, chungungos, minor cetaceans and huillín, which have been stranded dead on the coasts of Chile during the first half of 2023, mainly in the north.
The epidemiological situation of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) by H5 subtype of Eurasian lineage has continued to spread. There are 12 regions of the country that have registered marine fauna protected by the Fisheries and Aquaculture Law with positivity for avian influenza, with positive cases from Arica to Biobío, as well as Los Lagos and recently, the Magallanes region.
To date, a total of 43 specimens of marine animals confirmed as HPAI-positive have been confirmed, corresponding to 32 sea lions, 4 Humboldt penguins, 2 Chilean dolphins, 2 chungungos, 2 spiny porpoises, and 1 huillín. Read More

Canada: first case of H5N5 avian influenza in a mammals

31 May, 2023 Officials have reported the emergence of Eurasian H5N5 avian influenza in Canadian wild birds, and for the first time, the virus has been detected in mammals—specifically, raccoons found deceased on Prince Edward Island. The raccoon deaths occurred in early April near Charlottetown, the capital of Prince Edward Island. Read More

Prison for poultry farm managers that hid fatal salmonella contamination

27 May, 2023 A poultry farm owner and manager in Lunteren, Gelderland have been found guilty of endangering public health by selling eggs contaminated with salmonella enteritidis. The District Court of Zwolle issued its verdict, sentencing a 51-year-old company director and 43-year-old manager to six months in prison and 200 hours of community service. The incident came to light when a group of employees from a different company in Germany gathered for a company barbecue in June 2017. Eight employees fell ill, and tragically, a 22-year-old worker died as a result of the sickness. Investigation revealed that all eight had consumed eggs contaminated with salmonella. Read More

Paraguay reported first outbreak of HPAI

26 May, 2023 Paraguay has recently witnessed its initial occurrence of three highly pathogenic H5 avian influenza outbreaks. This occurrence marks the expansion of the virus's reach in the Americas, with its presence now confirmed in 18 countries.
The National Animal Health and Quality Service (Senacsa) of Paraguay reported these three H5 outbreaks yesterday. Read More

France confirms AI vaccination after favourable tests

Reuters 26 May, 2023 According to Reuters the Ministry of Agriculture, France has confirmed its intention to initiate an avian influenza vaccination program in the autumn following successful tests on duck vaccination that demonstrated "satisfactory effectiveness."
Among European Union countries, France has been the hardest hit and is currently experiencing a significant resurgence of outbreaks, particularly among ducks, mainly in the southwestern region of the country. To address this situation, France had previously placed an order for 80 million vaccines, contingent upon the final tests conducted by the French health safety agency ANSES. The positive outcome of these tests has provided sufficient assurance to commence a vaccination campaign in the autumn of 2023. The test results indicated successful virus transmission control in vaccinated mule ducks, the ability to differentiate between infected and vaccinated animals (DIVA), and a decrease in virus excretion by vaccinated birds. Read More

Avian influenza in humans: Annual Epidemiological Report for 2022

ECDC 25 May, 2023 Avian influenza virus A(H3N8)
In 2022, China reported two children infected with avian influenza virus A(H3N8) reassortant virus – both children were exposed to live poultry before the onset of symptoms. These are the first two cases of human avian influenza A(H3N8) globally.
Avian influenza virus A(H5N1)
In 2022, six human cases with avian influenza virus A(H5N1) were reported globally. In Europe, Spain detected viral fragments of A(H5N1) in specimens taken from two asymptomatic poultry workers involved in culling and cleaning activities during an avian influenza outbreak at the same farm. However, productive infection was ruled out, and a contamination was considered. Similarly, in the US, a low level of viral fragments was detected in a worker identified with mild symptoms (fatigue), who was involved in culling activities. Read More

Outbreaks of A(H5N1) in the Region of the Americas - Update

PAHO 21 May, 2023 As of epidemiological week (EW) 19 of 2023, agricultural authorities in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, The United States of America, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela have detected outbreaks of HPAI A(H5N1) viruses in domestic birds, farm poultry and/or wild birds, and in mammals. Among the mammals identified, red foxes and skunks were the most frequently affected in North America, and fur seals in South America.
The detection of HPAI outbreaks in 15 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean is a situation never recorded before. The identified outbreaks are mainly located in areas of the Pacific flyway. Read More

Costs of Campylobacter enteritis in Germany

20 May, 2023 Campylobacter is a gram-negative bacterium that can cause acute gastrointestinal infections in humans. In the European Union, Campylobacter enteritis (CE) is the most reported gastrointestinal disease, and the number of confirmed CE cases has stabilized at a high level in recent years. The corresponding incidence or notification rate in the EU-27 was 65 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in 2017. In Germany, CE is the most common notifiable bacterial infection and the incidence rate in 2017 was 84 reported cases per 100,000 inhabitants according to national surveillance data.
CE risk factors include handling, preparing, and consuming chicken meat, drinking unpasteurized milk or untreated water, eating out, traveling, using proton pump inhibitors (PPI), and animal contact, especially with poultry. Read More

England: Two poultry workers contract avian influenza

17 May, 2023 Two poultry workers in the U.K. have tested positive for avian influenza H5, but they are asymptomatic and there is no evidence of human-to-human transmission, according to the Health Security Agency. These are the first human cases in the U.K. since an elderly man contracted the virus from ducks in his home. The infected poultry workers were likely exposed to sick birds at an unidentified farm. The positive tests were discovered through screening of exposed poultry workers, but subsequent tests showed negative results. Contact tracing is being carried out as a precautionary measure. Read More

Brazil confirms first ever avian influenza cases in wild birds

16 May, 2023 Brazil, the leading global exporter of chicken, has announced the first-ever instances of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) H5N1 in wild birds. The Brazilian government has identified two sick terns on beaches on the coast of Espirito Santo state in the southeast. The birds, plus a brown booby at the rescue facility, showed neurologic symptoms. One died, and the two others were euthanized. Samples from all three birds were positive for H5N1. These cases, in accordance with guidelines from the World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH), do not warrant a ban on imports of Brazilian poultry products. Read More

Endangered US Condors' Vaccination Plans

16 May, 2023 The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has granted emergency authorization for the use of a highly pathogenic avian influenza vaccine to safeguard endangered California condors.
The initial outbreak among condors was first reported by the National Parks Service in early April. As of May 12, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) confirmed a total of 21 condor deaths, including 8 breeding pairs.
The USDA was contacted by the USFWS in late March following the confirmation of the first H5N1-related condor death. Officials from the USDA stated that the vaccine, a killed inactivated product licensed by APHIS' Center for Veterinary Biologics in 2016, will be administered to condors after conducting a pilot safety study on vultures, a closely related species, this month. Since the vaccine has not been previously tested on condors, scientists will assess its safety in vultures before proceeding with immunization. Read More

Salmonella outbreaks associated with NRTE breaded, stuffed chicken products

Weekly / May 5, 2023 / 72(18);484–487 5 May, 2023 From 1998 to 2022, 11 US Salmonella outbreaks were tied to raw stuffed, breaded chicken products, comprising 187 cases of illness, 42 hospitalizations, and no deaths - across 21 states. 57% of samples per outbreak from patient homes and retail stores yielded Salmonella. Not ready-to-eat (NRTE) breaded, stuffed chicken products (e.g., chicken stuffed with broccoli and cheese) typically have a crispy, browned exterior that can make them appear cooked. These products have been repeatedly linked to U.S. salmonellosis outbreaks, despite changes to packaging initiated in 2006 to identify the products as raw and warn against preparing them in a microwave oven. Read More

USDA proposes declaring Salmonella an adulterant in breaded stuffed raw chicken products

26 April, 2023 The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA's FSIS) has proposed to declare Salmonella an adulterant in breaded stuffed raw chicken products if the contamination level exceeds a very low threshold. This move is part of FSIS' regulatory framework proposed in October 2022 to minimize Salmonella infections associated with poultry products.
Every year, Salmonella causes approximately 1.35 million human infections and 26,500 hospitalizations in the U.S., with over 23 percent of those infections linked to poultry consumption, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Additionally, the total annual cost of foodborne Salmonella infections in the U.S. is estimated to be $4.1 billion, according to data from the USDA's Economic Research Service (ERS). Read More

Why this avian influenza epornitic Is different?

21 April, 2023 The University of Maryland (UMD) has led a study to investigate the arrival and spread of the highly pathogenic Avian Influenza (H5N1) in North America, which has resulted in significant losses of wild birds, and impacted poultry farming.
The team of researchers discovered that this outbreak is unique compared to previous ones due to the impact on wild birds and a shift from seasonal to year-round infections. They are calling for unprecedented coordination at a national and regional level to manage the disease and prevent it from spreading further. The team also predicts that H5N1 may become endemic, posing a risk to food security and the economy.
The study was published in the journal Conservation Biology on April 19, 2023. Read More

CDC: Human Infection with HPAI A(H5N1) virus in Chile

21 April, 2023 On 17 April 2023, the US CDC provided information on the genomic analysis of the samples from the first human infected with avian influenza A(H5N1) in Chile. Identified close contacts tested negative, so no further spread of the virus was observed. No human-to-human transmission is detected to date. The risk assessmentremains the same - low risk for infection in humans. The detected virus was identified as having a clade and was determined to be the same genotype as circulating in wild birds in South America. No reassortment of the viral genes was identified. Read More

USDA: AI Vaccine development update

18 April, 2023 USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) has begun avian influenza vaccination trials this month. ARS researchers are currently testing several vaccine candidates. Initial data from the animal study with a single dose of the vaccine are expected to be available in May 2023. The researchers expect to have two-dose vaccine challenge studies with results in June 2023.
Should the trials be successful, and should USDA elect to continue development, the next step is identifying manufacturers interested in vaccine production. Once one or more manufacturers are identified, there are 20 discrete stages to complete before vaccine delivery. These stages begin with feasibility work by the manufacturer and culminates with product label submission and review. General timeframes are 2.5-3 years; however, in emergency situations manufacturers may expedite development, resulting in a shortened timeframe to licensure. Read More

Housing measures for all poultry in Wales and England lifted

17 April, 2023 The Chief Veterinary Officer has announced that mandatory housing measures for poultry and captive birds in Wales and England, which were put in place to prevent the spread of avian influenza, will be removed on Tuesday 18 April 2023. The decision follows a thorough risk assessment and ongoing monitoring, which has shown that the risk levels of avian influenza have decreased. Read More

Evolution of Avian Influenza Virus (H3)

EID Volume 29, Number 6 - June 2023 17 April, 2023 Waterfowl globally have a high prevalence of Avian influenza viruses (AIVs) of subtype H3, which generally do not cause apparent illness in birds. However, H3 AIVs can transmit across species, as evidenced by past epidemics in horses, dogs, seals, and pigs. In April 2022, a 4-year-old boy in Henan Province, China, became the first human infected with AIV (H3N8) from his family's chickens and silky fowls. A second case was identified in May 2022, in a 5-year-old boy who had visited a live poultry market (LPM) in Hunan Province, China, and exhibited mild symptoms. A third case was reported in Guangdong Province in February 2023, where a 56-year-old female who had exposure to live poultry before falling ill died in March 2023.
The evolution of AIV subtype H3 in China, along with these human infections, underscores the threat to public health.Researchers in China conducted surveillance of poultry-associated environments from 2009 to 2022 and isolated and sequenced 188 H3 AIVs, identif Read More

France to order avian influenza vaccines

8 April, 2023 France has become the first member of the European Union to launch a tender for 80 million doses of avian influenza vaccines. According to Reuters, the order is intended to prepare for the launch of its vaccination program in the autumn. The move comes after the French health and safety agency ANSES endorsed the government's plan to vaccinate millions of poultry birds against avian influenza. Avian influenza, has caused the death of millions of birds around the world. However, due to potential trade curbs, governments have hesitated to roll out vaccination programs. France, which culled over 20 million birds last year and was the worst-affected EU country, aims to vaccinate ducks only. Read More

The human AI case in Chile may have been caused by environmental exposure

7 April, 2023 According to an update from the World Health Organization (WHO), an epidemiological investigation into the H5 avian influenza infection of a Chilean man has revealed that environmental exposure is the most probable source of infection. This man, who comes from the Antofagasta region in northern Chile, is the second person in South America to have contracted this type of infection.
The man did not have any underlying health issues, and his symptoms began on March 13. He was hospitalized on March 22 after his condition deteriorated, and he was admitted to the intensive care unit. A bronchoalveolar swab test was positive for A/H5 virus. Read More

USA: Domestic cat infected with HPAI

7 April, 2023 The highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus has been identified by the Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory (WSVL) in a barn cat near Thermopolis, WY. The feline is the first domestic cat in Wyoming to be diagnosed with HPAI, likely contracted from consuming wild waterfowl meat.
According to WSVL, HPAI has affected a large number of wild birds, mainly waterfowl. However, the virus has now been detected in wild carnivorous mammals, including mountain lions and a red fox. Read More

Salmonella Virchow outbreak linked to contaminated chicken meat

31 March, 2023 Since June 2017, a persistent cross-border outbreak of Salmonella Virchow ST16 has been ongoing in five European Union/European Economic Area (EU/EEA) countries, the United Kingdom, and the United States, according to a Rapid Outbreak Assessment released by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). A majority of cases have been linked to local restaurants serving kebab meat products containing contaminated chicken meat. ECDC encourages countries to sequence S. Virchow isolates from domestically acquired human infections and interview cases with S. Virchow ST16 infections. Read More

Chile: Human case of H5N1

30 March, 2023 In northern Chile, the Ministry of Health has confirmed the first case of avian influenza in humans. A 53-year-old man has been affected by a severe case of influenza, but is currently stable. The established health protocols for managing this disease have been activated and the patient has undergone tests for analysis by the Institute of Public Health (ISP), which has confirmed the presence of the HPAI H5N1 virus. Investigations are underway to determine the source of the patient's contact and whether others in his environment have been affected. Read More

Vaccines against avian influenza

Wageningen University & Research 20 March, 2023 According to Nancy Beerens, the head of the National Reference Laboratory for avian influenza, two out of four vaccines tested for their efficacy against highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) type H5N1, are effective under laboratory conditions.
The HVT-H5 vaccines prevent the spread of the virus and protect against disease symptoms in laying hens. The study was conducted at Wageningen Bioveterinary Research, in collaboration with Utrecht University, Royal GD, and Wageningen University & Research, on behalf of the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality.
The study involved testing three modern vaccines in laying hens, including the HVT-H5 vaccines from Ceva Sante Animale and Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health, and a DNA vaccine from Huvepharma. An older vaccine called Nobilis from Merck Sharp & Dome was also included. The HVT-H5 vaccines were found to be 100% effective in preventing disease and mortality after infection with the HPAI H5N1 virus and preventing virus Read More

PAHO: Outbreaks of avian influenza A(H5N1) in Latino-america countries

14 March, 2023 The detection of HPAI outbreaks in 14 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean is a situation never recorded before. The identified outbreaks are mainly located in areas of the Pacific flyway.
The following is a summary of the situation in countries of the Region of the Latin America and the Caribbean that reported outbreaks of avian influenza in 2022 and 2023.
In Argentina, the National Service of Health and Food Quality reported the first detection in the country in wild birds on 15 February 2023, in the Pozuelos lagoon, north west of the province of Jujuy, near the border with Bolivia. Until 6 March, 39 outbreaks of avian influenza A(H5) have been confirmed in wild birds, backyard birds and poultry production farms in 9 provinces of the country: Buenos Aires, Chaco, Córdoba, Jujuy, Neuquén, Rio Negro, Salta, San Luis and Santa Fe, there have been no human cases of infection with avian influenza A(H5) in relation to the identified outbreak. Read More

Avian influenza overview December 2022-March 2023

ECDC 13 March, 2023 Between 3 December 2022 and 1 March 2023 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) A(H5N1) virus, clade, was reported in Europe in domestic (522) and wild (1,138) birds over 24 countries. An unexpected number of HPAI virus detections in sea birds were observed, mainly in gull species and particularly in black-headed gulls (large mortality events were observed in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Italy). The close genetic relationship among viruses collected from black-headed gulls suggests a southward spread of the virus. Moreover, the genetic analyses indicate that the virus persisted in Europe in residential wild birds during and after the summer months.
Although the virus retained a preferential binding for avian-like receptors, several mutations associated with increased zoonotic potential were detected. The risk of HPAI virus infection for poultry due to the virus circulating in black-headed gulls and other gull species might increase during the coming months, as bree Read More

Argentina: first case of HPAI in a commercial poultry flock

1 March, 2023 The National Agrifood Health and Quality Service (Senasa) confirmed the first positive case of highly pathogenic avian influenza in poultry in the province of Río Negro. Senasa explained that "the positive case comes from a broiler chicken establishment located in the town of Mainque, province of Río Negro, south of the Patagonian zoophytosanitary barrier, in an area of low poultry density. Read More

The European Commission modifies the laws governing AI vaccines

27 February, 2023 In an attempt to combat the largest avian influenza epidemic that has been recorded in the EU thus far, the European Commission has announced new regulations to harmonise the vaccination of animals against the most severe animal diseases.
The worst avian influenza outbreak in recorded history struck Europe last year. Between October 2021 and September 2022, there were an unprecedented number of outbreaks across 37 European nations, according to the European Food Safety Agency's (EFSA) most recent quarterly report, which resulted in the culling of 50 million birds in affected establishments. Read More

HPAI virus zoonotic mutation found in the brains of wild carnivores

Pathogens 2023, 12, 168. 26 February, 2023 A new study on wild carnivore species infected with HPAI virus subtype H5N1 during the 2021-2022 outbreak in the Netherlands discovered the zoonotic mutation PB2-E627K in 8 of 11 cases. The fact that this mutation was not found in any wild bird sequences during the 2021-2022 Dutch epizootic suggests that it appears quickly after mammalian infection. The mutation E627K is most likely an adaptation to the lower body temperature in mammalian upper respiratory tract compared to avian species. The presence of the mammalian adaptation marker E627K in many carnivore viruses suggests that this virus can quickly adapt to replication in mammals.
Most of the animals were submitted for testing because they displayed neurological symptoms. Read More

A(H5N1) in two workers in Spain: suspected environmental contamination

Euro Surveill. 2023;28(8) 24 February, 2023 On September 2022, two cases of avian influenza in humans were reported in Spain. Now the investigation of the incident is being published.
On 20 September 2022, an outbreak of HPAI A(H5N1) was confirmed in a poultry farm in the autonomous region of Castilla-La Mancha, Spain. Two days later, screening for influenza was performed on all 12 exposed workers. A nasopharyngeal swab from one worker, aged ca 20 years who was asymptomatic, was positive for influenza A by RT-PCR performed at the regional reference laboratory on 22 September. The presence of influenza A(H5N1) was confirmed by PCR by the Influenza National Reference Laboratory (NRL) on 27 September. After notification to the World Health Organization (WHO) on 4 October, a respiratory sample and an additional serum sample taken on 8 October were sent to the WHO Reference Laboratory (WRL) in London, United Kingdom yielding negative results for PCR detection and serology. Read More

Cambodia: A family cluster of infection with A(H5N1) in humans

24 February, 2023 The Cambodia Ministry of Health reports that an 11-year-old in Roleang village, Prey Veng province has died after contracting H5N1 avian influenza. The girls started to show symptoms on February 16, received treatment in the village for three days without improving before being transferred to the National Paediatric Hospital in Phnom Penh on February 21. She died the next day. Read More

WNF: Drop in egg production in Pekin Duck breeders

Avian Diseases 67, 2023 20 February, 2023 West Nile virus (WNV) is a zoonotic, mosquito-borne member of the genus Flavivirus. Transmission is associated with mosquito activity. Mosquitoes of the genus Culex are the main vectors of WNV. A new report t highlights two outbreaks of WNV infection in Pekin breeder ducks, as a cause of drop in egg production. Read More

Guatemala: first report of HPAI

17 February, 2023 Guatemala reported its first H5N1 detection in wild birds, which involves brown pelicans found dead near the end of January at a nature park in Izabal department in the eastern part of the country. Read More

Genome Analysis of Enterococcus cecorum

J Clin Microbiol . 2023 Feb 16;e0144522. doi: 10.1128/jcm.01445-22 17 February, 2023 Enterococcus cecorum is a commensal bacterium of the gut microbiota of adult chickens. This bacterium has emerged over the last 20 years as a significant cause of locomotor disorders in poultry worldwide, particularly in fast-growing broilers. E. cecorum is mostly responsible for osteomyelitis, spondylitis, vertebral osteoarthritis, and femoral head necrosis, causing substantial losses in broiler production due to culling, mortality, condemnations at the slaughterhouse, veterinary costs, and increased exposure to antibiotics. A new study found that most clinical isolates are grouped phylogenetically, and six genes discriminate 94% of isolates associated with disease from those that are not. Read More

Uruguay: first case of HPAI

16 February, 2023 Uruguayan officials have reported the country's first case of a highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5) virus in 5 black-necked swans in Laguna Garzon. Read More

Chile: H5N1 Infection in a Sea Lion

16 February, 2023 SERNAPESCA, Chile's National Fisheries and Aquaculture Service, announced the first laboratory confirmed sea lion H5N1 infection in Antofagasta. This is the first case of a marine mammal affected by this virus in Chile. Read More

Zoonotic pathogens in Scotland Biennial Report 2020/2021

16 February, 2023 A new report presents provisional information on laboratory reports of gastrointestinal and zoonotic pathogens in Scotland up to the end of 2021.
Campylobacter: In 2020, Public Health Scotland (PHS) received 5392 laboratory reports of Campylobacter.
In 2021, 5890 laboratory reports of Campylobacter were received.
The highest incidence rates continue to be seen in young children (aged 0-4 years) and older adults (aged 65+ years).
In 2020, the overall incidence rate (number of laboratory reports per 100,000 population) of Campylobacter in Scotland was 98.6, compared with 107.8 in 2021. Read More

Argentina confirms the presence of avian influenza

15 February, 2023 The National Agrifood Health and Quality Service (SENASA) reported the first detection in the country of avian influenza (AI) H5 in wild birds in the Pozuelos lagoon, northwest of the province of Jujuy, near the border with Bolivia.
Read More

Cuba reports presence of HPAI

10 February, 2023 The World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH) has reported that Cuba has detected highly pathogenic H5N1 for the first time in wild birds at a zoo in Havana. Read More

Ecuador will vaccinate against H5N1 HPAI

8 February, 2023 Ecuador approved the purchase of vaccines to deal with an outbreak of avian influenza that has left around 1.2 million birds dead or slaughtered, especially in the north-central Andean region. The vaccines will be supplied by Mexico. Each dose will cost about eight cents and each bird, if vaccinated from a young age, requires three doses (future layers). Read More

Peru: SENASA confirm death of 3 sea lions and a dolphin due to avian influenza

6 February, 2023 The National Agrarian Health Service of Peru (Senasa) confirmed the death of 3 sea lions in Lima and a dolphin in Piura due to avian influenza. This information was sent to the Ministry of Health through an official letter to take the corresponding actions.
According to the document addressed to César Munayco, general director of the National Center for Epidemiology, Prevention and Control of Diseases of the Minsa, the 3 sea lions coming from the coast of Lima tested positive for the type A avian influenza virus . A similar situation occurred in the analysis of a dolphin from Paita, in Piura. Read More

Bolivia: first case of avian influenza

1 February, 2023 For the first time, Bolivia has reported two occurrences of H5N1 avian influenza. This highly contagious virus has already caused the death of countless birds in the United States and Europe, according to Reuters. The propagation of the virus is of significant concern for government entities and poultry industry personnel as it impedes supply, escalates food prices, and carries the potential of transmission to humans. According to the World Organisation for Animal Health, based in Paris, the first outbreak was identified on a laying-hen farm in Sacaba containing 35,000 birds. The second was found on a small property in Quillacollo with 202 domestic ducks, geese, and chickens. Read More

Ireland: Culls of poultry flocks due to salmonella outbreak

1 February, 2023 More than 7,000 birds across eight poultry farms throughout Ireland must be slaughtered in order to prevent infected chicken products from entering the food chain. The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) has verified that this salmonella outbreak was related to the chicken products recalled from stores last week. Restrictions have been put into place within the local vicinity of the farms, primarily in the County Cavan area. Testing in commercial poultry flocks around Ireland has been increased since the recall to find any link between the food source and the various outbreaks. Read More

France: Cat infected with avian influenza

27 January, 2023 A domestic cat was found to have been infected with avian influenza, and euthanised after suffering severe neurological symptoms. It is the first case of its kind in France.
The cat, which lived in Mauléon, Deux-Sèvres in Nouvelle-Aquitaine, picked up the virus from a nearby poultry farm that raised ducks.
First of its kind in France.
A few days before the virus was discovered in the cat, 8,000 birds at a nearby farm were slaughtered due to a bird flu outbreak. Read More

India: Salmonellosis due to raw egg mayonnaise

Source: The Hindu 25 January, 2023 Salmonella has been found in the samples collected after nearly 106 people consumed food from an eatery in North Paravur in Ernakulam and suffered foodborne illness. Illness was reported in people who ate mayonnaise, grilled chicken, and mixed fried rice from Majlis Hotel near the municipal office building.
The infection was mostly found in people with mayonnaise made from raw eggs. Read More

Zoonotic potential of HPAI H5N1 viruses

Microbiol Spectr 2023 Jan 23;e0286722. doi: 10.1128/spectrum.02867-22. 24 January, 2023 Researchers from the Netherlands investigated different H5N1 isolates from Red Foxes found positive for HPAI virus. Three wild red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) were submitted with neurological symptoms (likely due to the foxes feeding on infected birds) between December of 2021 and February of 2022. Histopathological analysis demonstrated that the virus was mainly present in the brain, with limited or no detection in the respiratory tract or other organs. Limited or no virus shedding was observed in throat and rectal swabs.
Phylogenetic analysis showed that the three fox viruses were not closely related, but they were related to HPAI H5N1 clade viruses that are found in wild birds. This suggests that the virus was not transmitted between the foxes. Read More

HPAI A(H5N1) virus infection in farmed minks, Spain, October 2022

Eurosurveillance | Volume 28 | Issue 3 20 January, 2023 Last October we report an outbreak of Avian H5N1 in a Mink farm in Spain. Now the journal Eurosurveillance provides a detailed report on the outbreak. This is the first report of clade HPAI H5N1 virus infection of minks farmed for their fur in Europe. The minks were fed with raw fish and poultry by-products, cereals, and blood meal. Poultry farms and avian slaughterhouses supplying the poultry by-products were located in Galicia. Up to 10 January 2023, H5N1 poultry outbreaks have not been reported in this region.
The viruses identified presented the highest similarity with strains of the A/gull/France/22P015977/2022-like genotype, which has already been described in multiple wild bird species and sporadically in poultry across northern Europe. Read More

Sweden: Salmonella Enteritidis outbreak

19 January, 2023 Since the beginning of December 2022, 22 cases of illness infected with the same strain of Salmonella Enteritidis have been reported to the Public Health Authority of Sweden. The infection is suspected to originate from eggs that have now been recalled.
At the end of December 2022, Salmonella Enteritidis was identified at a major Swedish egg producer, which has led to several recalls of fresh eggs.
An outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis involving 22 people from eleven different regions has now been identified and is being investigated. Since several of the sick have eaten dishes containing raw eggs from the now-recalled batches, there are strong reasons to suspect a connection to the earlier Salmonella finding at the egg producer. The disease cases are aged 7-90 years (median=40 years), twelve of the cases are women and the illnesses occurred between December 7, 2022, and January 6, 2023. Read More

Grizzly bears test positive for avian influenza in Montana

19 January, 2023 Three grizzly bears were euthanized in Montana after they became ill and tested positive for the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 virus, according to the state’s Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks.
The bears were observed to be in poor condition and exhibited disorientation and partial blindness, among other neurological issues. They were euthanized due to their sickness and poor condition. Read More

Human infection caused by avian influenza A(H5) - Ecuador

WHO 18 January, 2023 On 9 January 2023, WHO was notified of a human infection caused by an avian influenza A(H5) virus. The case, a nine-year-old girl, living in a rural area in the province of Bolívar, Ecuador, was in contact with backyard poultry, which was acquired a week before the onset of her symptoms, which died without apparent cause on 19 December 2022. She developed symptoms of conjunctivitis and a runny nose on 25 December 2022. On 30 December, due to the persistent symptoms including nausea, vomiting and constipation, she was admitted to a general hospital where empirical treatment for meningitis was started with antibiotics and antipyretics. On 3 January 2023, she was transferred to a pediatric hospital in critical condition where she was admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) with septic shock and was treated with antivirals and mechanical ventilation due to pneumonia. She is currently hospitalized, in isolation. Read More

PAHO: Outbreaks of avian influenza A(H5) in the Region of the Americas

12 January, 2023 As of epidemiological week (EW) 1 of 2023, agricultural authorities in Canada, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Peru, the United Stated of America, and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela have detected outbreaks of HPAI A(H5N1) viruses in domestic birds, farm poultry, and/or wild birds. The detection of HPAI outbreaks in eight countries in Latin America and the Caribbean is a situation never recorded.
To date, there have been two human infections caused by avian influenza A(H5), the first in the United States of America in which the subtype A(H5N1) was identified and reported on 29 April 2022 and the second in Ecuador, which was notified on 9 January 2023. Read More

Ecuador: first case of avian influenza in a nine-year-old girl

11 January, 2023 The Ministry of Public Health of Ecuador reports 1st human case of highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 (clade in Ecuador. The case is a 9-year-old girl presumed to have had direct contact with infected poultry.
The patient is currently hospitalized in a pediatric intensive care unit, in isolation and with antiviral and supportive treatment. Read More

Avian influenza detected in Honduras

11 January, 2023 Honduras reports HPAI H5N1 in brown pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis) found on the beach of La Ceiba and Puerto Cortés (northern Honduras). No cases have been reported among domestic or poultry birds and no human cases of infection with avian influenza A(H5N1) have been reported in relation to identified outbreaks. Read More

Denmark: Foxes positive to H5N1

9 January, 2023 Highly pathogenic avian influenza has been detected in Danish foxes for the first time.
Highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 has been detected in samples from 4 wild Danish foxes (Three fox puppies around 4-5 weeks old and an adult male fox). The foxes have presumably died as a result of infection with highly pathogenic avian influenza. The foxes have been autopsied by the Pathology Service at the University of Copenhagen and influenza has been detected by analyzes carried out at the Statens Serum Institut. Read More

Britain: Salmonella detection in laying hens

Zoonoses Public Health | 2023 7 January, 2023 As part of the measures to reduce the prevalence of Salmonella in poultry in the UK, National Control Programmes (NCPs) have been implemented. These involve regular statutory testing of poultry holdings to monitor and estimate the prevalence of Salmonella in the national flock population and to control Salmonella on holdings with positive flocks, especially those serovars most identified with human illness: Salmonella Enteritidis (SE) and S. Typhimurium (ST).
The aim of a new study published in Zoonoses and Public Health was to estimate the sensitivity of both the Operator and Competent Authority (CA) Official sampling used to detect infected flocks and to also estimate the true proportion of infected holdings of commercial laying flocks in GB each year of the NCP, along with the trend of any changes in prevalence for both SE/ST and non-SE/ST. A Bayesian model was developed to estimate the sensitivity of both Operator and CA Official sampling from the NCP data 2009–2018, and to esti Read More

Two outbreaks of Salmonella linked to kebab shops in Canberra, Australia

7 January, 2023 Two outbreaks of Salmonella associated with kebab shops in Canberra, Australian Capital Territory are reported in a publication.
The first consisted of 12 cases of Salmonella Agona, nine of whom reported eating chicken from the same kebab shop.
The second consisted of two cases of Salmonella Virchow who both reported eating chicken from another (unrelated) kebab shop. Environmental investigations identified similar food safety issues at both businesses, including improper cleaning of kebab shaving equipment and serving cut rotisserie meat without further cooking.
Environmental samples detected Salmonella genomically linked to the respective outbreak cases. In both outbreaks, inadequate temperature control of meat may have been a contributing factor. Read More

More Mammals Confirmed with Avian influenza

5 January, 2023 The StarHeral reported HAPI infections were the cause of death for four animals at the Riverside Discovery Center in Scottsbluff. The Nebraska zoo confirmed a cougar, bear, and two tigers had died. Read More

France: Campylobacter surveillance in 2021

Source: Santé Publique France 5 January, 2023 In 2021, surveillance of Campylobacter infections confirmed the epidemiological and biological trends already observed in recent years. Specifically, the data shows:
a predominance of the species C. jejuni;
a higher number of cases and incidence in children with a maximum incidence in 0-9 year olds (27 cases/100,000 inhabitants);
a predominance of infections in men 15 cases per 100,000 inhabitants versus 11 cases per 100,000 for women (less marked trend in people aged 20 to 39);
a seasonal peak during the summer period;
high resistance to fluoroquinolones and tetracyclines, which has remained stable in recent years;
no notable increase in the resistance rates of the six antibiotics tested routinely;
consumption of poultry products as the first food (incriminated or suspected) identified as a source of contamination in episodes of collective food poisoning. Read More

Sweden: Coop recalls egg free-range

4 January, 2023 Coop (Sweden) one of Sweden's largest groceries is recalling Coop Egg Free-range 12-pack, Coop Egg Free-range 24-pack and Xtra Egg Free-range 15-pack with three different best-before dates. The reason for the recall is that the goods may contain salmonella. During a routine check, the supplier of the eggs discovered salmonella in one of the stables where the eggs were laid. Read More