Published Date: 2009-02-28 11:00:47
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Avian influenza (18): Japan (AI) LPNAI H5
Archive Number: 20090228.0826
AVIAN INFLUENZA (18): JAPAN (AICHI) LPNAI H5
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Sat 28 Feb 2009
Source: The Japan Times [edited]
H7 bird flu detected in Aichi
The H7 bird flu virus has been detected at a quail farm in Toyohashi,
Aichi Prefecture, the prefectural government and the farm ministry
said Friday [27 Feb 2009]. As the infected quails have not died, the
virus "may be of attenuated virulence," the Agriculture, Forestry and
Fisheries Ministry and the local government said, suggesting it is
unlikely the infection will spread further.
Although it is rare for humans to catch the H7 virus, those who are
in contact with the infected birds may show symptoms, such as in the
respiratory system. The prefectural government detected the virus in
February 2009 in 2 quails at the farm, which raises about 300 000 of
the birds, during a regular inspection of 3 quail farms in the
prefecture, when 10 birds were tested. The H7 virus had not been
detected in Japan since 1925, according to the farm ministry.
"I always make sure I sterilize the farm and no wild birds get in,
but I don't know when and how the virus might affect my birds and I'm
nervous," said a 70-year-old farmer.
Aichi Gov. Masaaki Kanda said there is no danger of infection by
eating the eggs or the meat of the quail. "I ask the citizens to
remain calm," he said.
But neighbors remain anxious. "Even though they say that infection
among humans is unlikely, I'm scared and don't want to go out," said
a woman who lives nearby.
The farm halted quail shipments Wednesday [25 Feb 2009] while
authorities investigate the infection route, as well as sterilize the
farm and kill the quails. The farm is located in one of the country's
leading production centers for quail eggs. Transportation limits will
be placed on 65 farms with more than 4.5 million quails and chickens,
as well as their eggs and feed.
"Although I want (the government) to stop the infection from
spreading, I want them to kill as few birds as possible," said a
"(The discovery of the H7 virus) will cause a lot of trouble for
farmers, so I want to treat this problem seriously," said Motohiko
Kondo, senior vice minister at the farm ministry.
[Japan duly submitted an immediate notification to the OIE on the
described event on Fri, 27 Feb 2009; see, with map, at
The neuraminidase type is pending.
According to OIE's International Animal Health Code, all
low-pathogenic avian influenza viruses of the H5 or H7 subtypes are
notifiable, hence termed "low pathogenic notifiable avian influenza"
(LPNAI). The pathogenicity of avian influenza viruses is defined
according to criteria which are detailed in the code: highly
pathogenic viruses are those which have an intravenous pathogenicity
index (IVPI) greater than 1.2 in 6-week-old chickens, or, as an
alternative, cause at least 75 percent mortality in 4-to 8-week-old
chickens infected intravenously. H5 and H7 viruses which do not have
an IVPI of greater than 1.2 or cause less than 75 percent mortality
in an intravenous lethality test, should be sequenced to determine
whether multiple basic amino acids are present at the cleavage site
of the haemagglutinin molecule; if the amino acid motif is similar to
that observed for other highly pathogenic isolates, the isolate being
tested should be considered as highly pathogenic notifiable avian
LPNAI are all influenza A viruses of H5 and H7 subtype that are not
HPNAI viruses. Further background on the laboratory diagnosis of
avian influenza is available at
Immediate notifications on LPNAI (of various types) have been
submitted to the OIE since the beginning of 2009 from the following
The Czech Republic, 26 Feb 2009, see at
Romania, 19 Feb 2009, see at
France, 02 Feb 2009, see at
Canada, 24 Jan 2009, see at
and S. Korea, 2 Jan 2009, see at
A total of 3 immediate notifications were submitted during December
2008 (from Belgium, Taipei-China and Norway).
Compared to 9 LPNAI immediate notifications during the 3-month period
December 2008 - February 2009, their total number during the
preceding 6 months (May-Nov 2008) was 5. On top of seasonality, could
this also reflect enhanced surveillance activities? - Mod.AS]