10/03/17 03:04

OIE Regional Expert Group Meeting for the Control of Avian Influenza in Asia

Sapporo, Japan, 3-5 October 2017

The main objectives of the workshop were to provide situational and scientific updates on avian influenza (AI) at global, regional and country levels. It was also to review recent achievements and challenges in multi-sectoral collaboration and coordination and recommend further actions to improve collaboration and coordination between human health, animal health and other relevant sectors related to AI prevention and control.

A total of 64 participants, comprising of 35 representatives from 24 countries and territories (hereinafter referred to as “members”), experts from OIE Reference Laboratories in Australia, India and Japan;  representatives from FAO RAP, National Institute of Infectious Diseases of Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, Japan, National Institute of Animal Health of National Agriculture and Food Research Organization, Japan, Animal Quarantine Service, Japan, Federal Scientific Centre for Medical and Preventive Health Risk Management Technologies (FBSI), Russia, as well as faculty and intern students from Hokkaido University attended the meeting.

Opening remarks were delivered by Prof Hiroshi Kida, Head of Hokkaido University Research Centre for Zoonosis Control, Dr Filip Claes representing ECTAD FAO RAP, Dr Hirofumi Kugita, OIE Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific (OIE RRAP). Dr Kazuo Ito, Director of International Animal Health Affairs Office, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forests (MAFF) and OIE delegate of Japan delivered the key note address.

The meeting included five technical sessions. One session covered updates on the global and regional situation of AI and zoonotic influenza in humans. The number of AI subtypes and countries being affected continued to increase over the years. The most recent common subtype was HPAI H5N8 virus in poultry and wild birds. Low pathogenic avian influenza H7N9 in China has become HPAI H7N9 in the beginning of 2017. Presentation by FAO highlighted on recent surveillance of influenza in animals and joint risk assessments including the trial of a novel portable PCR diagnostic technique for field use.  The process of candidate vaccine viruses selection, the Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Framework (PIP-FW) of WHO and a novel viral detection system were presented. OIE Standards on surveillance for AI viruses with reference to Chapter 10.4 of the Terrestrial Animal Health Code and the role of OIE on AI were shared. The Russian representative shared the history of AI spread in Russia and the surveillance of AI in domestic poultry and wild birds in Siberia.  The expert from the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD), India, shared about the epidemiological and molecular information on avian influenza in India and the SAARC region, stating that H5N1 and H9N2 are continuously evolving in the SAARC region and the need for targeted and coordinated active surveillance in poultry, wild birds and other species along the international borders in the region.


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