Animal Flu-Ecology

Novel introductions of influenza viruses into the human population from the animal kingdom continue to be a major health problem worldwide. The disease associated with infection shows a broad range of symptoms, depending in part on the genetic properties of the virus but also on which species of host is infected. In the natural host, no signs of infection can be identified by ocular inspection, while other bird species and mammals are more severely affected with symptoms ranging from very mild to very severe and ultimately death. It is widely accepted that all influenza virus strains infecting mammalian species originate from wild birds. Influenza A virus causes a wide spectrum of symptoms in reared birds, from mild illness to a highly contagious and fatal disease resulting in severe epidemics. Only subtypes H1N1 and H3N2 of influenza A virus follow an epidemiological pattern in humans and are considered endemic, though a H2N2 persisted for a long time. Influenza A viruses can be isolated somewhere in the world every month and the infection is sustained and perpetuated in the human population.

Emerging infectious diseases have been increasing in incidence and are a key threat to wildlife and human health. Wild and domestic birds are recognized as the reservoirs of most influenza A viruses.. Reservoirs for all H and N subtypes of avian influenza virus include aquatic birds, particularly waterfowl, in which the vectors multiply in the gastrointestinal tract, producing large amounts of virus usually without producing clinical signs. Land-use changes resulting in farms and wetlands being closer to one another, and open grazing of poultry in rice fields and wetlands shared with wild birds creates mechanisms for transmission of viruses amongst these sectors. As well, spreading of infected manure as fertilizer, or water run-off from infected farms into natural habitats may also explain possible mechanisms by which disease moves from poultry production operations or households into wild bird habitats

  • Zoonotic animal influenza
  • Avian influenza
  • Swine influenza
  • Awareness and practices regarding zoonotic influenza prevention
  • New avenues of flu control
  • Neglected influenza viruses
  • Ebola versus influenza

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Animal Flu-Ecology Conference Speakers

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