Infectious Diseases 2024

Infectious Diseases 2024

Huvepharma: Coccidiosis vaccine for turkeys receives conditional licensing

20 April, 2024 The United States Dept. of Agriculture’s Center for Veterinary Biologics has granted Huvepharma® a conditional license for the manufacturing and sale of a new turkey coccidiosis vaccine. The vaccine is the only USDA-approved vaccine with three species of Eimeria, the protozoan species that causes coccidiosis. It is sprayed onto day-old turkey poults in the hatchery. Read More

EFSA: Avian Influenza vaccination: surveillance & mitigation measures

19 April, 2024 A new scientific opinion on the vaccination of poultry against highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) was recently published by EFSA. This scientific opinion, authored by experts in the field, focuses on surveillance and mitigation measures to combat this disease in poultry populations.
The article discusses poultry vaccination against HPAI and emphasizes surveillance and mitigation measures. Overall, it provides insights into the complexities of implementing vaccination programs and surveillance measures to combat HPAI in poultry, emphasizing the need for tailored approaches and continuous monitoring to prevent and control disease outbreaks. Read More

Avian influenza: Spreading

18 April, 2024 In a recent document from the US Department of Agriculture addressing 'questions and answers' regarding the spread of avian influenza in dairy herds in the US, there is an interesting reference to the issue of virus transmission. The Ministry of Agriculture states:
1. The virus spreads within the herd through cow-to-cow infection.
2. There is evidence of virus transmission from infected cattle herds to poultry farms. Read More

HPAI H7N9 virus evolution amid vaccination

18 April, 2024 A new study by a Chinese research group, published in Emerging Microbes & Infections, delves into the evolution of the H7N9 highly pathogenic avian influenza virus within the context of vaccination, offering valuable insights into the genetic and biological changes of the virus in response to vaccination efforts. The study observes a gradual shift in the receptor-binding preference of H7N9 viruses in poultry, indicating an increased affinity for avian-type receptors and a decreased affinity for human-type receptors. Furthermore, the study finds that vaccination prevents reassortment with other viruses, thereby slowing the evolution of the virus.
According to the authors, these findings suggest that vaccination plays a crucial role in shaping the evolution of the H7N9 virus, reducing its potential threat to human populations by eliminating its ability to bind to human-type receptors. Read More

South Dakota: HPAI detected in dairy herd

12 April, 2024 The South Dakota Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources (DANR) and the state's Animal Industry Board confirmed through testing the presence of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in a dairy herd within South Dakota, marking a significant first for the state.
With this detection among South Dakota dairy cows, the tally of affected states now stands at eight. Read More

North Carolina: HPAI detected in dairy herd

11 April, 2024 The North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (NCDAC) has reported that tests have identified highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in one of the state's dairy herds. This discovery brings the tally of affected states to seven. Previously, cases of HPAI had been confirmed in dairy herds in Texas, Kansas, Michigan, Idaho, New Mexico, and Ohio. As a precaution, the movement of cattle from affected herds in these states to North Carolina has been halted. Read More

UK: Campylobacter report 2013-2022

9 April, 2024 2022
-The number of reported Campylobacter cases in England decreased from 55,642 cases in 2021 to 54,461 cases in 2022, a decrease of 1,181 cases
-The region that reported the highest number of Campylobacter laboratory reports was the South East with 9,540 reports; however, the region with the highest rate per 100,000 population was the North East with 133.3 per 100,000.
-Overall, 54% of Campylobacter laboratory-confirmed cases in England were male the age group with the highest number of laboratory reports was the 50 to 59 year old age category.
-Consistent with previous years’ 5-year median, in 2022 Campylobacter reporting peaked in the month of June.
-Species was only reported for 23% of laboratory reports, the majority of which were Campylobacter jejuni (20% of all cases). Read More

Salmonella in poultry meat and products in Turkey

International Journal of Food Science and Technology 2024 8 April, 2024 A new study examines the prevalence, antibiotic susceptibility, and genomic characterization of Salmonella isolated from raw chicken meat and turkey products. The prevalence of Salmonella in poultry products in Turkey was found to be 38.22% in the study. Out of 293 chicken samples collected, 112 samples (38.22%) were contaminated with Salmonella enterica. Specifically, 4.46% of the isolates were identified as Salmonella Enteritidis, and 0.89% were identified as Salmonella Typhimurium. Read More

Vietnam: A novel reassortant influenza A(H5N1) virus

6 April, 2024 In the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), a novel reassortant influenza A(H5N1) virus has emerged since mid-2022, causing infections in both humans and poultry. Recently, this virus triggered human outbreaks in Cambodia at the beginning of this year. It carries surface proteins from clade 2.3.2.1c, which has been circulating locally, while its internal genes derive from a more recent clade 2.3.4.4b virus. The infiltration and widespread spread of this reassortant influenza A(H5N1) virus in the GMS pose significant threats to animal and human health, given the historical impact of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) outbreaks in the area. Moreover, this reassortment event underscores not just the adaptability of the virus but also the constant risk of the emergence of new, potentially more harmful strains. Read More

CDC: sequencing results of H5N1 AI samples from patient

4 April, 2024 CDC has sequenced the influenza virus genome identified in a specimen collected from the patient in Texas who was confirmed to be infected with highly pathogenic avian influenza A(H5N1) virus and compared these with HPAI A(H5N1) sequences from cattle, wild birds and poultry.
The virus sequences are HA clade 2.3.4.4b HPAI A(H5N1) with each individual gene segment closely related to viruses detected in dairy cattle available from USDA testing in Texas. While minor changes were identified in the virus sequence from the patient specimen compared to the viral sequences from cattle, both cattle and human sequences maintain primarily avian genetic characteristics and for the most part lack changes that would make them better adapted to infect mammals. Read More

Salmonella infections in Denmark from 2013 to 2022

3 April, 2024 A new study published in the European Journal of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases analyzed Salmonella infections in Denmark from 2013 to 2022, focusing on serotype distribution, invasiveness, age, sex, and travel exposure.
The most prevalent non-typhoid Salmonella (NTS) serotypes identified in Denmark during the study period (2013-2022) were as follows:
1. S. Enteritidis: Accounting for 26.4% of cases
2. Monophasic S. Typhimurium: Responsible for 16.5% of cases
3. S. Typhimurium: Contributing to 13.5% of cases Read More

HPAI detected in Ohio dairy herd

3 April, 2024 The Ohio Department of Agriculture received confirmation from the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL) of the detection of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in a dairy cattle herd. This is the first case of HPAI in a livestock operation in Ohio. Read More

Texas: HPAI in cats from affected dairy farms

3 April, 2024 Texas officials have reported that cats displaying signs of illness in dairy farm settings have tested positive for the virus. The Texas Animal Health Commission has confirmed in laboratory tests that three cats have contracted HPAI. Additionally, deceased grackles and pigeons were discovered at the same facilities, along with some farm cats. Read More

USA: Human case of H5N1 in Texas

2 April, 2024 A person in the United States has tested positive for the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus. The case was reported by Texas and confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). HPAI has now been confirmed in dairy herds in Michigan (1), Idaho (1), New Mexico (1), Kansas (2), and Texas (7).
The patient became ill following contact with dairy cows presumed to be infected with avian influenza. Their primary symptom was conjunctivitis. Read More

HPAI in dairy herd in New Mexico

1 April, 2024 The USDA and APHIS has confirmed the detection of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in a dairy herd in New Mexico, as well as 5 additional dairy herds in Texas.
This marks the first known case of HPAI in cattle in New Mexico, and adds to the two detections in Texas that were first announced on Monday, March 25. To date, USDA has confirmed the detection of HPAI in dairy herds in Texas (7) Kansas (2), Michigan (1), and New Mexico (1). The presumptive positive test results for the Idaho herd are still pending analysis at NVSL. Read More

Campylobacter in broiler flocks in Norway 2023

30 March, 2024 Surveillance in 2023 showed that a total of 128 flocks (6.1%) tested positive for Campylobacter spp. when all broiler flocks slaughtered before 51 days of age during the period 1st of May –31st of October were tested. In total 2,100 flocks from 505 farms were sampled. Of all farms sampled, 83 (16.4%) had at least one positive flock, and of these, 28 had two or more positive flocks. The majority of the positive flocks comes from farms having more than one positive flock and even though these farms only represent 5.5% (28/505) of all farms tested, they contributed with 57.0% (73/128) of all positive flocks tested in 2023. Read More

HPAI detected in Michigan dairy herd

29 March, 2024 Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) Director Tim Boring announced the detection of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in a dairy herd from Montcalm County. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories has confirmed this detection. Read More

HPAI detected in Idaho cattle

29 March, 2024 The Idaho State Department of Agriculture (ISDA), has identified highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in a Cassia County dairy cattle operation. These are the first cases of HPAI in a dairy operation in Idaho. The affected facility recently imported cattle from another state that had previously identified cases of HPAI in cattle. It is suggested the virus may be transmitted from cow-to-cow, in addition to previous reports indicating cattle were acquiring the virus from infected birds. Read More

HPAI detected in Texas & Kansas dairy cattle

27 March, 2024 The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) jointly reported the identification of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus in laboratory samples taken from multiple affected cows in Texas and Kansas.
As of Monday, March 25th, unpasteurized clinical milk samples obtained from ailing cattle on two dairy farms in Kansas and one in Texas, as well as an oropharyngeal swab from another Texas-based dairy, have returned positive results for highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). Read More

Salmonella Mbandaka ST413 outbreak in EU/EEA & UK

EFSA/ECDC 22 March, 2024 Since September 2021, a cross-border outbreak of Salmonella Mbandaka ST413 has persisted across the European Union/European Economic Area (EU/EEA) and the United Kingdom (UK), spanning over two years. By November 30, 2022, a total of 196 cases had been documented and outlined in a collaborative report by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). As of March 15, 2024, the tally rose to 300 cases, marking an increase of 104 instances. These cases were distributed across Estonia (n=3), Finland (n=98), France (n=16), Germany (n=2), Ireland (n=7), the Netherlands (n=1), and the United Kingdom (n=173), as defined by European case standards. Among these cases, twenty-three required hospitalization, with six experiencing septicaemia, and tragically, one fatality was recorded in the UK. Read More

USA: H5N1 HPAI in a herd of goats

19 March, 2024 The Minnesota Board of Animal Health (MBAH) has reported the detection of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in a young goat residing on a farm recently afflicted by an outbreak in poultry. Authorities, including the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), are currently probing the transmission of the virus within the farm premises situated in Stevens County, located in west-central Minnesota. As a precautionary measure, all animals on the farm have been subjected to quarantine. This discovery underscores the potential for cross-species infection within farms housing multiple animal types.
The investigation was prompted by the observation of unusual mortality among newborn goats subsequent to the culling of poultry as part of the response to the February outbreak. Both the goats and the poultry shared common living quarters and water sources. Read More

Chilean H5N1 virus spreads fatal disease in ferrets

19 March, 2024 Highly pathogenic avian influenza A(H5N1) viruses from Clade 2.3.4.4b have triggered significant outbreaks among bird populations across five continents, with spill-over into various mammalian species. Instances of mutations linked to mammalian adaptation have sporadically surfaced in avian strains and more frequently in mammalian strains post-infection. Human infections with A(H5N1) viruses after contact with infected wildlife have been documented on multiple continents, underscoring the imperative for assessing pandemic risk associated with these viruses.
In a recent study, the pathogenicity and transmissibility of the A/Chile/25945/2023 HPAI A(H5N1) virus were examined. This novel reassortment, incorporating four gene segments (PB1, PB2, NP, MP) from the North American lineage, was isolated from a severe human case in Chile. Read More

FSIS plans to exclude vaccine strains from salmonella performance categorization

14 March, 2024 The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) of the USDA has announced that live vaccine strains of Salmonella administered to flocks will be excluded from calculations used to determine the status of plants under the Raw Poultry Performance Standards. FSIS Salmonella performance standards are assessed on broiler carcasses, turkey carcasses, comminuted chicken, comminuted turkey, and chicken parts (81 FR 7285).
FSIS examined Salmonella detection and serotype data from flocks vaccinated with a modified live Salmonella vaccine at pre- and post-intervention points in participating slaughter establishments. These data indicate that vaccine strains can occasionally be found in raw poultry products even when the vaccine is used as directed on the label. FSIS’ current policy of counting such strains as a positive result in performance categorization may discourage the use of vaccination as a tool to control Salmonella. Read More

Assessing Campylobacter control in chicken meat

14 March, 2024 In response to a request from the 52nd Session of the Codex Committee on Food Hygiene (CCFH), the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Meeting on Microbiological Risk Assessment (JEMRA) convened a meeting in Rome, Italy from 6 to 10 February 2023, to collate and assess the most recent scientific information relevant to the control of thermotolerant Campylobacter in broiler production and chicken meat. The scope was focused on aspects of broiler primary production from the point of chick placement into production establishments to consumer handling. The objectives were to identify and assess control measures for Campylobacter in the broiler production chain. The expert committee reviewed the available data on Campylobacter control including scientific literature published from 2008 to October 2022 and data submitted in response to a call for data for this meeting. Read More

USDA scientists develop technology for pathogen reduction in intact eggs

11 March, 2024 Researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (USDA’s ARS) have developed a thermal pasteurization method based on Radio Frequency (RF) technology that effectively reduces the presence of Salmonella in intact eggs. A simple solution to foodborne pathogens in eggs would be to pasteurize all raw eggs before consumption; however, less than 3 percent of commercial eggs are pasteurized in the United States. Conventional thermal pasteurization of intact eggs is usually a lengthy process involving submerging eggs in hot water for more than 57 minutes to inactivate Salmonella cells.
Researchers at the Agricultural Research Service's (USDA-ARS) Eastern Regional Research Center in Wyndmoor, Pa., utilized a novel thermal technology to pasteurize eggs and inactivate Salmonella cells with a shorter processing time. Read More

Salmonella Infantis, an emerging human multidrug-resistant pathogen

Emerging Infectious Diseases | Vol 30, No. 4 - April 2024 11 March, 2024 Salmonella enterica serovar Infantis poses an ever-growing threat to public health due to its widespread presence across many countries and its association with high levels of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). A 167% increase in human infections was observed in the United States during 2001–2016, and in European Union member states, Infantis is the predominant serovar isolated from broiler flocks and broiler meat, accounting for 56.7% of Salmonella isolates from broiler meat in 2018. A recent study analyzed the whole-genome sequences of 5,284 Salmonella Infantis strains from 74 countries, which were isolated during the period of 1989-2020 from a diverse range of human, animal, and food sources. The study aimed to compare genetic phylogeny, AMR determinants, and the presence of plasmids. Read More

EFSA: The role of mammals in Avian Influenza

10 March, 2024 Recently, there has been an increase in reported infections of avian influenza in mammals, spanning from asymptomatic cases to mass mortality events, and some human cases have also been recorded. Epidemiologically, there is great concern as evidence of mammalian adaptations to the virus has been found, yet the transmission routes and pathogenesis in mammals remain to be fully defined.
A new report by EFSA aims to assess the role of mammals in avian influenza epidemiology, virology, and pathology, including avian influenza maintenance, reservoir role, immunity, and the potential role of mammals in a pandemic scenario.
According to the report, the most represented taxa were found within the order Carnivora. The primary identified risk of infection was through predation (or feeding) upon infected birds or through contact with avian species. Evidence of mammal-to-mammal transmission in the wild is currently only circumstantial and yet to be confirmed. Read More

An increase in Psittacosis cases in Europe

WHO 6 March, 2024 Five European countries have reported an increase in cases of Psittacosis, a bacterial respiratory disease known to originate from birds or poultry. The events began at the end of 2023 and led to the death of five people. The World Health Organization, in a detailed report, states that the reported events from Austria, Denmark, Germany, Sweden, and the Netherlands are mostly related to contact with wild or domestic birds.
Sweden is the only country that made a change in the diagnostic processes, a factor that may explain the increase in the number of reported cases.
Psittacosis is caused by the bacterium Chlamydophila psittaci, which originates from birds or poultry. Human infection usually occurs through the respiratory tract. There have been previously reported cases of slaughterhouse workers being infected (1). Read More

WHO: Ducks source of H10N5 in Chinese woman coinfection

WHO 15 February, 2024 On 27 January 2024, the National Health Commission of the Peoples Republic of China notified WHO of one confirmed case of human coinfection with influenza A(H10N5) virus and seasonal influenza A(H3N2) virus. This is the first case of human infection with avian influenza A(H10N5) virus reported globally.
The case occurred in a female farmer over 60 years of age from Xuancheng Prefecture, Anhui Province, who had onset of symptoms of cough, sore throat and fever on 30 November 2023. The patient, who had a history of chronic comorbidities, was admitted to a local hospital on 2 December 2023 for treatment and was then transferred on 7 December 2023 to a medical institution in Zhejiang Province as her condition became more severe. The patient was diagnosed with influenza A virus infection. She passed away on 16 December 2023. Read More

Avian Influenza devastates seabird populations in the UK over two years

15 February, 2024 The current strain of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) H5N1 has significantly impacted UK wild bird populations since its first recorded instance in the country among Great Skuas in the summer of 2021, with seabirds and waterfowl being particularly affected. The scale of reported mortalities attributed to HPAI in the UK and across Europe in 2022 demonstrates that HPAI has emerged as one of the most significant immediate conservation threats faced by numerous seabird species, including some for which the UK population is globally significant. Many species affected by HPAI are of conservation concern in the UK. Read More

Current trends in mammalian infection patterns with HPAIv H5N1

Emerging Infectious Diseases | 2024 14 February, 2024 A comprehensive review of mammalian infections during the current panzootic period (2020-2023), compared to previous waves of infection (2003-2019), was recently published in EID. It highlights the expanded geographic reach and increased number of species affected by the current event, emphasizing the importance of continuous surveillance to mitigate the risk of a global pandemic.
During the current panzootic period (2020-2023), the virus has affected a larger number of mammalian species worldwide compared to previous waves of infection. The current panzootic event has impacted a variety of mammalian species, including those classified as near-threatened, endangered, vulnerable, and critically endangered, potentially exacerbating their conservation status. The most likely source of mammalian infection appears to be close contact with infected birds, with some evidence suggesting potential mammal-to-mammal transmission. Read More

Salmonella in Europe - 2022

ECDC 9 February, 2024 In 2022, 30 EU/EEA countries reported 66,721 salmonellosis cases, of which 65,967 were classified as laboratory confirmed – a rate of 15.5 cases per 100 000 population.
• Salmonellosis is the second most commonly reported gastrointestinal infection in the EU/EEA, and a significant cause of food-borne outbreaks.
• The reported case rate was highest in young children (0−4 years) with 81.5 cases per 100 000 population, ten times higher than in adults (25–64 years). The fact that the salmonellosis rate in young children was ten times higher compared with adults may be explained by a higher proportion of symptomatic infections among young children, an increased likelihood of parents taking children to see a doctor when sick, and increased likelihood of doctors taking samples. Read More

Campylobacter in Europe - 2022

ECDC 9 February, 2024 • Campylobacteriosis is the most commonly reported gastrointestinal disease in the EU/EEA.
• In 2022, 30 EU/EEA countries reported 140,241 confirmed cases of campylobacteriosis.
• The overall EU/EEA notification rate was 46.9 cases per 100,000 population.
• The campylobacteriosis notification rate was highest in children under five years at 146.2 cases per 100,000 population.
• Thirty-five deaths from campylobacteriosis were reported in 2022, resulting in an EU/EEA case fatality rate of 0.04%. Read More

H10N3 Avian Influenza: A public health concern

2 February, 2024 In a correspondence published in The Lancet Microbe (1), it was reported that H10N3 viruses exhibit multiple amino acid residues associated with adaptation in mammalian hosts. Both human-derived and chicken-derived isolates demonstrated a high affinity for sialic acid-α-2,6-galactose receptors. Notably, certain chicken-derived viruses may possess the potential to evolve into a pandemic threat in the human population, bypassing the need for prior adaptation. Consequently, these characteristics underscore the potential public health threat posed by H10N3 avian influenza viruses. Read More

Funding of €46.7 Million allocated to support Italian farmers from the EU

29 January, 2024 After receiving a favorable vote from Member States, the European Commission is set to allocate €46.7 million as compensation to Italian farmers residing in regions impacted by Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) outbreaks. The funding for this compensation will be drawn from the agricultural reserve, and disbursements to farmers are scheduled to occur before September 30, 2024. Read More

Comparing European Campylobacter surveillance in broilers

Food Control 155 (2024) 28 January, 2024 European researchers compared various programs for Campylobacter control in broiler production across EU countries to identify the most promising practices for managing the pathogen. Mandatory surveillance, according to Campylobacter Process Hygiene Criterion (PHC), has been implemented by all twelve participating countries in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 2073/2005. This involves quantifying Campylobacter in neck skin samples and setting a limit for acceptable contamination of carcasses (<1,000 CFU/g). Variations are observed in Norway and Iceland, where weekly sampling is performed during peak infection periods only, and in Iceland, where the limit is set at 500 colony-forming units per gram (CFU/g) instead of 1,000 CFU/g. The PHC limit is 1,000 CFU/g in 15 out of 50 samples. Starting in January 2025, this limit will be applied to 10 out of 50 samples in all member states. Read More

Germany: vaccination against HPAI viruses

26 January, 2024 After a prior decision permitting the utilization of vaccines to manage highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in the European Union under specific conditions, reports indicate that veterinary authorities in Germany are preparing to implement this measure.
In Germany, the relevant authorities are in the process of incorporating the use of vaccines against HPAI through collaboration in a federal-state working group. The European Commission has enforced a significant shift in the strategy against avian influenza with the implementation of Implementing Regulation 2023/361/EU. Competent authorities can now authorize the vaccination of poultry against HPAIV, subject to stringent monitoring measures. This shift is attributed to the continuous circulation of HPAI viruses in migratory and increasingly domestic bird species, despite consistent Europe-wide control efforts. Currently, there is no regularly approved vaccine available for the prevailing HPAI viruses. Read More

S.D. Senators urge action on poultry trade and AI vaccines

25 January, 2024 Senators Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and John Thune (R-S.D.) have penned a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai, urging the initiation of discussions regarding the revision of trade agreements to potentially incorporate the use of a vaccine for highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI).
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is presently conducting trials for vaccines designed to prevent HPAI. The avian influenza outbreak has had a profound impact on over 5.3 million birds in South Dakota, resulting in a federal government expenditure of nearly $1 billion. Prior to permitting producers to employ any approved HPAI vaccine, U.S. officials must engage in negotiations with major trade partners. In late December, the World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH) issued a policy brief on poultry vaccination, emphasizing the need for a reassessment of existing control strategies due to the virus's rapid spread. The brief endorsed the use o Read More

UK 2022 retail surveillance: Campylobacter & Salmonella in raw chicken/turkey

24 January, 2024 Samples of raw fresh chicken (n=306) and turkey (n=302) were collected from retail premises across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland between January and December 2022. Salmonella spp. were detected in 1.9% (n=6/306) of chicken samples and 0.7% (n=2/302) of turkey samples, but the salmonella organisms were not ESBL producers. C. jejuni was the most common contaminant on both types of meat. High levels of contamination (>1000 cfu/g) were observed in 5.6% of chicken meat samples in total with 10.4% of whole chickens highly contaminated. Meat with skin was more likely to be contaminated with Campylobacter spp. than meat without skin with 21.8% of skinless chicken contaminated versus 60.3% of chicken samples containing skin. In turkey meat, 10.4% of samples with skin were contaminated whilst 1.6% without skin were contaminated. Read More

Campylobacteriosis in Finland 2004-2021

24 January, 2024 A new study presents a comprehensive overview of passive surveillance on Campylobacteriosis in Finland from 2004 to 2021 and a pilot case-control study with whole-genome sequencing in summer 2022. According to the study:
-Campylobacter is the most common cause of bacterial gastroenteritis in Finland. Read More

USDA allocates $1B to combat HPAI

17 January, 2024 Since the commencement of avian influenza outbreaks in early 2022, the USDA has allocated just over $1 billion to reimburse farmers for the loss of their flocks and to control the spread of the disease. The most substantial disbursement, amounting to $715 million, was distributed to producers, growers, and integrators as compensation for depopulated birds and eggs. An additional $183 million was utilized for the culling and disposal of affected flocks. The present costs associated with personnel, contractors, state agreements, and field expenses are estimated to be an additional $130 million. Read More

HPAI detected in mammals in sub-Antarctica for the first time

12 January, 2024 Results confirm High Pathogenicity Avian Influenza (HPAI) has been found in elephant and fur seals on the subantarctic island of South Georgia.
The presence of HPAI has been confirmed for the first time in mammals in sub-Antarctica. The disease was detected in elephant and fur seals on the island of South Georgia by experts from the UK’s world-leading Animal Plant Health Agency (APHA). HPAI was first suspected on Bird Island off the northwest coast of South Georgia in October 2023 after the deaths of several brown skua. Read More

FAO & WHO :Salmonella Control in Poultry Meat- meeting report

10 January, 2024 FAO and WHO have published a report on measures to control Salmonella in poultry meat. The expert consultation concluded the following:
• At all levels of farm production, stringent biosecurity measures including sanitation and hygiene are important factors for preventing and controlling NT-Salmonella spp. in flocks.
• It is important for breeding flocks to be NT-Salmonella-free.
• Vaccine-based strategies reduce the prevalence and/or level of shedding of NT-Salmonella spp. in flocks but do not eliminate NT-Salmonella spp.
• There was no strong evidence that the use of substances with antimicrobial activity, such as additives in feed and water, resulted in effective control of NT-Salmonella spp. in broilers. Read More

Avian Influenza vaccination and safe trade

WOAH 8 January, 2024 A new policy article, titled "Avian Influenza Vaccination: Why It Should Not Be a Barrier to Safe Trade," published on the World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH) website, claims that the current spread of avian influenza is a major concern for the poultry industry, public health, and biodiversity. Given recent developments in its epidemiology and the increasing circulation of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in wild animals, stricter biosecurity measures and mass culling of poultry may no longer be sufficient to control the disease. With the seasonal north-south migration of wild birds, countries must be prepared for an increase in outbreaks and should consider complementary approaches.
The rapidly evolving nature of avian influenza and changes in its patterns of spread require a review of existing prevention and control strategies. To effectively contain the disease, protect the economic sustainability of the poultry sector, and reduce potential pandemic risks, Read More

France: An avian influenza outbreak in a vaccinated duck flock

7 January, 2024 French animal health authorities have identified an outbreak of avian influenza at a duck farm in Notre Dame de Riez. The affected birds had received vaccination in November 2023 as part of France's initial deployment of the poultry vaccine. The vaccine employed in this case is developed by Boehringer Ingelheim, utilizing Baculovirus Expression System Technology. This vaccine is a clade 2.3.2 H5-recombinant baculovirus vaccine. Confirmation of the outbreak's results came on January 2, prompting the culling of all 8,700 ducks on the farm. Read More

Avian influenza detected in polar bear in Alaska

4 January, 2024 The discovery of a deceased polar bear on Alaska's North Slope marks the initial instance of this species succumbing to the HPAI prevalent in animal populations worldwide. The unfortunate incident occurred in October near Utqiagvik, the northernmost community in the nation, as reported by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation. This marks the inaugural case of a polar bear falling victim to this ailment anywhere.
The fatality of the polar bear highlights the enduring and lethal impact of the particular strain of HPAI that has gripped wild animal populations, persisting for two years since its introduction to North America. The initial cases of HPAI H5N1 in Alaska were identified in wildlife, including birds and a fox, during the second week of April. Read More