Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance (Rosselkhoznadzor)
Epizootic Situation on AI and Results of Monitoring Tests Carried out by the FGBI ARRIAH Reference Laboratory for Avian Viral Diseases


07.06.2016 09:29

Epizootic situation on highly pathogeneic avian influenza A/H5N1 is still rather tense in some Asian and African countries causing significant economic losses to the poultry industry. In 2016 AI outbreaks have already been reported in Korea, India, Bangladesh, Cote d'Ivoire and Nigeria. The situation is especially tough in China and Vietnam where the disease outbreaks have also been caused by other subtypes (H5N2, H5N6 or H5N8). Egypt and Indonesia are still endemic for highly pathogenic avian influenza.

Epizootic situation in France is of special concern. Since November 2015, 75 HPAI outbreaks have been reported in chicken flocks and on waterfowl farms primarily in the south-eastern part of the country. The disease was caused by subtype H5N1 (19 outbreaks, the last 2 outbreaks were reported on the 16th of February, 2016; more than 50 thousand birds either died or were destroyed by the veterinary services), H5N2 (34 outbreaks, last outbreak reported on the 28th of January, 2016; more than 130 thousand birds were destroyed), H5N9 (22 outbreaks, the last outbreak reported on the 3d of February, 2016; 70 thousand birds were destroyed). However, the virus origin could not be established in those outbreaks. Situation on low pathogenic avian influenza is also tense: 10 outbreaks in domestic poultry have already been reported over the recent 4 months in France (mainly in ducks). More than 30 thousand birds were destroyed as a sanitary measure.

Outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza A/H7N8 was reported in the USA in January, 2016, where more than 43 thousand birds were destroyed as a sanitary measure.

Despite the measures taken, spread of HPAI A/H7N3 cannot be stopped in Mexico and more than half a million birds have been recently destroyed in backyards and on commercial poultry farms.

The only effective way to respond to the threat is to impose temporary restrictions on import of live poultry, hatching eggs and poultry products to Russia, until the exporting country is free from the disease, and to ensure monitoring in order to assess the current situation and analyze potential risks.

In early 2016 the FGBI ARRIAH Reference Laboratory for Viral Avian Diseases subordinated to the Rosselkhoznadzor comprehensively tested 295 samples of biomaterial from domestic and wild birds from the Krasnoyarsk Krai, the Nizhny Novgorod Oblast, and the Karachayevo-Cherkessian Republic and the Republic of Crimea. Avian influenza virus genome was detected in 5 samples out of 93 tested ones and avian paramixyvirus type 1 was detected in 4 samples. The detected avian influenza viruses do not belong to H5 and H7 subtypes, genetic material of H3 and H4 subtypes was detected in four samples and therefore they can be classified as low-virulent forms.

Avian paramixyvirus type 1 detected during monitoring tests belong to subgenotype Ib (Genotype I, Class II) and are typical representatives of the viral group described recently in Sweden, Finland and Nigeria. It shall be noted that the positive samples from wild ducks (mallard, shoveler, green-winged teal) do not pose any risks to commercial poultry farming.

Genome of pigeon paramyxovirus type 1 was detected in two samples from wild pigeons after testing 150 samples of biomaterial from domestic and wild birds in the Nizhny Novgorod Oblast. Most closely related viruses were detected earlier in the European region of Russia and in the neighbouring countries. Such viruses can demonstrate virulence when affecting domestic birds, primarily chickens.

No AI and ND viruses were detected in samples from the Republic of Crimea and the Karachayevo-Cherkessian Republic.

The FGBI ARRIAH Reference Laboratory for Avian Viral Diseases highlights tense epizootic situation on HPAI in a number of adjacent regions and the current risk of the virus introduction and spread. The State Veterinary Services of the RF Subjects, poultry farms and poultry owners should be vigilant and take into account that compliance with the veterinary and sanitary standards as well as with the biosafety regulations is the most effective approach to prevent the disease.

In case affected or dead birds are detected, it is required to immediately report to the veterinary services.

FGBI Press Office

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