Impact story

What are the best strategies to combat Avian influenza?

Avian influenza and especially highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) is of great concern to society. Not only does HPAI cause large outbreaks in poultry with high mortality, thus having a major impact on economies and food security, it is also a zoonotic treat. Avian influenza is controlled in the economically betteroff countries by killing all birds on infected premises. In other countries control is often attempted by vaccination.

Culling of animals

The research of Quantitative Veterinary Epidemiology focuses on the quantification of transmission. The research showed that the strategy of killing all birds on infected premises fails when the local density of chicken farms is too high.

Vaccination of poultry

Vaccination when tested in experiments does reduce transmission sufficiently to eradicate the infection. However, in the countries that are vaccinating it seems that vaccination does not work to stop transmission.

Our research has shown that the low vaccine response in the field causes the failure of the vaccine. Follow-up research focuses on the question whether it is possible to vaccinate in the field with sufficient response.