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The surveillance and control programme for avian influenza (AI) in poultry in Norway 2012

David B, Nordstoga AB, Norström M. The surveillance and control programme for avian influenza (AI) in poultry in Norway 2012.Surveillance and control programmes for terrestrial and aquatic animals in Norway. Annual report 2012. Oslo: Norwegian Veterinary Institute 2013. 

Surveillance in 2012 did not detect infection with highly pathogenic influenza A virus in poultry.'

The aim of the national surveillance and control programme for AI in poultry is to document that the various poultry populations inNorwayare free of influenza A virus of sub-types H5 and H7 and to contribute to the maintenance of this status.

The Norwegian Food Safety Authority is responsible for implementing the surveillance programme for avian influenza (AI) in poultry. The programme, which was started in 2006, is based on serological investigations of poultry. The Norwegian Veterinary Institute is responsible for planning, laboratory investigations and reporting components of the programmes.

AI is a serious, highly contagious disease of poultry and other captive birds caused by many different subtypes of influenza type A viruses. The level of risks posed by the different subtypes for animal and public health is very variable due to rapid virus mutation and possible re-assortment of the genetic material between different subtypes. 

Current knowledge indicates that the health risks posed by the so-called Low Pathogenic AI (LPAI) viruses are lower than that posed by Highly Pathogenic AI (HPAI) viruses. The HPAI viruses originate from a mutation of LPAI viruses of either H5 or H7 subtype. HPAI can cause disease in poultry resulting in mortality rate exceeding 90 %.

In general, domestic poultry populations are free from AI viruses. However, wild waterfowls are the natural reservoirs for all influenza A virus subtypes. Infected birds do not usually develop clinical disease, but may shed large amounts of virus upon infection. The national surveillance and control programme for AI in poultry was started in 2006 and modelled on EU’s Council Directive 2005/94/EC.

HPAI has until now never been reported or diagnosed in poultry inNorway.

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NVI authors

David Bruce

Spesialveterinær