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Highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (H5N1) in frozen duck carcasses, Germany, 2007.

Harder TC, Teuffert J, Starick E, Gethmann J, Grund C, Fereidouni S, Durban M, Bogner KH, Neubauer-Juric A, Repper R, Hlinak A, Engelhardt A, Nöckler A, Smietanka K, Minta Z, Kramer M, Globig A, Mettenleiter TC, Conraths FJ, Beer M - Emerging Infect. Dis. (2009)

Bottom Line: We conducted phylogenetic and epidemiologic analyses to determine sources of outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAIV), subtype H5N1, in poultry holdings in 2007 in Germany, and a suspected incursion of HPAIV into the food chain through contaminated deep-frozen duck carcasses.Detection of HPAIV (H5N1) in frozen duck carcass samples of retained slaughter batches of 1 farm indicated that silent infection had occurred for some time before the incidental detection.Phylogenetic analysis established a direct epidemiologic link between HPAIV isolated from duck meat and strains isolated from 3 further outbreaks in December 2007 in backyard chickens that had access to uncooked offal from commercial deep-frozen duck carcasses.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, Isle of Riems, Germany.

ABSTRACT
We conducted phylogenetic and epidemiologic analyses to determine sources of outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAIV), subtype H5N1, in poultry holdings in 2007 in Germany, and a suspected incursion of HPAIV into the food chain through contaminated deep-frozen duck carcasses. In summer 2007, HPAIV (H5N1) outbreaks in 3 poultry holdings in Germany were temporally, spatially, and phylogenetically linked to outbreaks in wild aquatic birds. Detection of HPAIV (H5N1) in frozen duck carcass samples of retained slaughter batches of 1 farm indicated that silent infection had occurred for some time before the incidental detection. Phylogenetic analysis established a direct epidemiologic link between HPAIV isolated from duck meat and strains isolated from 3 further outbreaks in December 2007 in backyard chickens that had access to uncooked offal from commercial deep-frozen duck carcasses. Measures that will prevent such undetected introduction of HPAIV (H5N1) into the food chain are urgently required.

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Possible pathway of transmission of highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAIV) (H5N1) from farm B, Bavaria, to 3 backyard chicken holdings in Brandenburg (gray house symbols) based on phylogenetic and circumstantial epidemiologic evidence. Viruses of these cases were virtually identical, although they were separated by 4 months (August and December, 2007) and ≈400 km without linking outbreaks. In contrast, other viruses occurring at the same time (August) in Bavaria in wild birds or in farm A were distinguishable from those of farm B. The same was true for viruses detected in Poland (close to Brandenburg) in December. Therefore, a direct epidemiologic link between farm B and the outbreaks in Brandenburg was suspected (dashed arrow). From June 14 through June 22, 2007, three fattening flocks from farm B were slaughtered in Lower Saxony (angled arrow). These included flock B/3-5 with elevated proportion of deaths (Figure 1, panel A). Slaughtering lots 724/725, which contained ducks from farm B flocks with an elevated cumulative proportion of deaths, were distributed in Brandenburg supermarkets (horizontal arrow). Frozen duck carcasses from these lots had been purchased by the owners of the Brandenburg chicken holdings, and in 2 of the 3 outbreaks, owners admitted that chickens had access to uncooked offal from these carcasses before the outbreaks.
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Figure 3: Possible pathway of transmission of highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAIV) (H5N1) from farm B, Bavaria, to 3 backyard chicken holdings in Brandenburg (gray house symbols) based on phylogenetic and circumstantial epidemiologic evidence. Viruses of these cases were virtually identical, although they were separated by 4 months (August and December, 2007) and ≈400 km without linking outbreaks. In contrast, other viruses occurring at the same time (August) in Bavaria in wild birds or in farm A were distinguishable from those of farm B. The same was true for viruses detected in Poland (close to Brandenburg) in December. Therefore, a direct epidemiologic link between farm B and the outbreaks in Brandenburg was suspected (dashed arrow). From June 14 through June 22, 2007, three fattening flocks from farm B were slaughtered in Lower Saxony (angled arrow). These included flock B/3-5 with elevated proportion of deaths (Figure 1, panel A). Slaughtering lots 724/725, which contained ducks from farm B flocks with an elevated cumulative proportion of deaths, were distributed in Brandenburg supermarkets (horizontal arrow). Frozen duck carcasses from these lots had been purchased by the owners of the Brandenburg chicken holdings, and in 2 of the 3 outbreaks, owners admitted that chickens had access to uncooked offal from these carcasses before the outbreaks.

Mentions: The duck meat sold in autumn 2007 by the supermarket chain in Brandenburg and in the neighboring Federal States of Berlin and Mecklenburg–Western Pomerania had been purchased from a slaughterhouse in the Federal State of Lower Saxony (lots 724, 725; Figure 3). Direct links between Bavarian farm B and the slaughterhouse in Lower Saxony existed because slaughtering lots 724 and 725 included ducks from 3 fattening flocks from farm B. These ducks were slaughtered on June 14, 19, and 22, 2007, in the abattoir in Lower Saxony, because the most frequently used abattoir in Bavaria at farm A was closed for holidays (Figure 3). Among the 3 flocks was the one from barn B/3–5, which showed a suspiciously elevated cumulative proportion of deaths of 12.6% (Table; Figure 1, panel A).


Highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (H5N1) in frozen duck carcasses, Germany, 2007.

Harder TC, Teuffert J, Starick E, Gethmann J, Grund C, Fereidouni S, Durban M, Bogner KH, Neubauer-Juric A, Repper R, Hlinak A, Engelhardt A, Nöckler A, Smietanka K, Minta Z, Kramer M, Globig A, Mettenleiter TC, Conraths FJ, Beer M - Emerging Infect. Dis. (2009)

Possible pathway of transmission of highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAIV) (H5N1) from farm B, Bavaria, to 3 backyard chicken holdings in Brandenburg (gray house symbols) based on phylogenetic and circumstantial epidemiologic evidence. Viruses of these cases were virtually identical, although they were separated by 4 months (August and December, 2007) and ≈400 km without linking outbreaks. In contrast, other viruses occurring at the same time (August) in Bavaria in wild birds or in farm A were distinguishable from those of farm B. The same was true for viruses detected in Poland (close to Brandenburg) in December. Therefore, a direct epidemiologic link between farm B and the outbreaks in Brandenburg was suspected (dashed arrow). From June 14 through June 22, 2007, three fattening flocks from farm B were slaughtered in Lower Saxony (angled arrow). These included flock B/3-5 with elevated proportion of deaths (Figure 1, panel A). Slaughtering lots 724/725, which contained ducks from farm B flocks with an elevated cumulative proportion of deaths, were distributed in Brandenburg supermarkets (horizontal arrow). Frozen duck carcasses from these lots had been purchased by the owners of the Brandenburg chicken holdings, and in 2 of the 3 outbreaks, owners admitted that chickens had access to uncooked offal from these carcasses before the outbreaks.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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Figure 3: Possible pathway of transmission of highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAIV) (H5N1) from farm B, Bavaria, to 3 backyard chicken holdings in Brandenburg (gray house symbols) based on phylogenetic and circumstantial epidemiologic evidence. Viruses of these cases were virtually identical, although they were separated by 4 months (August and December, 2007) and ≈400 km without linking outbreaks. In contrast, other viruses occurring at the same time (August) in Bavaria in wild birds or in farm A were distinguishable from those of farm B. The same was true for viruses detected in Poland (close to Brandenburg) in December. Therefore, a direct epidemiologic link between farm B and the outbreaks in Brandenburg was suspected (dashed arrow). From June 14 through June 22, 2007, three fattening flocks from farm B were slaughtered in Lower Saxony (angled arrow). These included flock B/3-5 with elevated proportion of deaths (Figure 1, panel A). Slaughtering lots 724/725, which contained ducks from farm B flocks with an elevated cumulative proportion of deaths, were distributed in Brandenburg supermarkets (horizontal arrow). Frozen duck carcasses from these lots had been purchased by the owners of the Brandenburg chicken holdings, and in 2 of the 3 outbreaks, owners admitted that chickens had access to uncooked offal from these carcasses before the outbreaks.
Mentions: The duck meat sold in autumn 2007 by the supermarket chain in Brandenburg and in the neighboring Federal States of Berlin and Mecklenburg–Western Pomerania had been purchased from a slaughterhouse in the Federal State of Lower Saxony (lots 724, 725; Figure 3). Direct links between Bavarian farm B and the slaughterhouse in Lower Saxony existed because slaughtering lots 724 and 725 included ducks from 3 fattening flocks from farm B. These ducks were slaughtered on June 14, 19, and 22, 2007, in the abattoir in Lower Saxony, because the most frequently used abattoir in Bavaria at farm A was closed for holidays (Figure 3). Among the 3 flocks was the one from barn B/3–5, which showed a suspiciously elevated cumulative proportion of deaths of 12.6% (Table; Figure 1, panel A).

Bottom Line: We conducted phylogenetic and epidemiologic analyses to determine sources of outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAIV), subtype H5N1, in poultry holdings in 2007 in Germany, and a suspected incursion of HPAIV into the food chain through contaminated deep-frozen duck carcasses.Detection of HPAIV (H5N1) in frozen duck carcass samples of retained slaughter batches of 1 farm indicated that silent infection had occurred for some time before the incidental detection.Phylogenetic analysis established a direct epidemiologic link between HPAIV isolated from duck meat and strains isolated from 3 further outbreaks in December 2007 in backyard chickens that had access to uncooked offal from commercial deep-frozen duck carcasses.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, Isle of Riems, Germany.

ABSTRACT
We conducted phylogenetic and epidemiologic analyses to determine sources of outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAIV), subtype H5N1, in poultry holdings in 2007 in Germany, and a suspected incursion of HPAIV into the food chain through contaminated deep-frozen duck carcasses. In summer 2007, HPAIV (H5N1) outbreaks in 3 poultry holdings in Germany were temporally, spatially, and phylogenetically linked to outbreaks in wild aquatic birds. Detection of HPAIV (H5N1) in frozen duck carcass samples of retained slaughter batches of 1 farm indicated that silent infection had occurred for some time before the incidental detection. Phylogenetic analysis established a direct epidemiologic link between HPAIV isolated from duck meat and strains isolated from 3 further outbreaks in December 2007 in backyard chickens that had access to uncooked offal from commercial deep-frozen duck carcasses. Measures that will prevent such undetected introduction of HPAIV (H5N1) into the food chain are urgently required.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus