Published Date: 2012-03-31 13:09:09
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Avian influenza (27): Israel (HD), turkey, H5N1, RFI
Archive Number: 20120331.1086593
AVIAN INFLUENZA (27): ISRAEL (HADAROM), TURKEY, H5N1, REQUEST FOR INFORMATION
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Fri, 30 Mar 2012
Source: The Times of Israel [summarised, edited]
Health officials plan 20 000-turkey cull after bird flu found
Discovery at Moshav Zavdiel is 3rd case in recent weeks.
The Agriculture Ministry plans to slaughter 20 000 turkeys from the same coop after avian flu was discovered there.
The coop, on Moshav Zavdiel, near Lachish in the lower Judean plain, is the 3rd farming community discovered in Israel in recent weeks with an avian flu outbreak.
Officials hope they can stem the spread of the disease by killing the birds.
A number of cats were found dead before the last cull, with signs pointing to them having eaten the carcasses of infected turkeys near Shalva, in the south, according to a report by the World Organization for Animal Health.
In 2006, southern Israel's poultry industry was brought nearly to the brink of collapse, growers said, after a number of culls following the discovery of bird flu.
The H5N1 virus, as this strain of avian flu is officially known, can be deadly if transferred to humans. It has lead to the deaths of millions of birds in Europe and Asia as health officials attempt to contain the virus.
[Byline: Joshua Davidovich]
ProMED-mail Rapporteur Mary Marshall <firstname.lastname@example.org>
[According to reliable sources, the above event is related to the sighting, by a veterinary inspector, of a truck transporting 6-week-old turkeys from location(s) within the HPAI H5N1 protection zone (10 km around the infected village Shalva; see map at 20120312.1068423) to Moshav Zavdiel which is situated 10.5 km to the north of Shalva, just beyond the 10-km boundary. Investigation was undertaken at the destination site; it included sampling of the transported turkey poults. These samples were found in the national laboratory (Kimron Veterinary Institute) positive to H5N1 by the real time PCR test. Remarkably, the positive birds, which were apparently transported to a farm outside the declared zone for further fattening there, did not show clinical signs of disease and would not have been tested if their illegal transportation would not have been detected.
Though, most likely, the virus involved is similar to the causative agent of the earlier HPAI H5N1 outbreak in Shalva, its pathogenicity has yet to be demonstrated. The absence of clinical signs in these PCR-positive birds deserves clarification. In this context, subscribers are referred to a 2009 paper (see ref 1), according to which, chickens inoculated with H9N2 (a virus known to circulate in the Israel/Middle East) showed 90-100 percent survival after inoculation 1 to 35 days later with HPAI H5N1 virus. Chickens that survived did not show signs of disease but did shed lethal H5N1 virus from the cloaca. It would be interesting to note if the turkey poults in the above consignment were have been tested also for H9N2; if affirmative - results, as well as the pathogenicity rate of the relevant H5N1 virus, are requested.
1. A. Khalenkov, S. Perk et al. (2009). Modulation of the severity of highly pathogenic H5N1 influenza in chickens previously inoculated with Israeli H9N2 influenza viruses. Virology 383, 32-38. - Mod.AS]
[For a map of Israel showing the location of Moshav Zavdiel, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zavdiel. For the HealthMap/ProMED map of Israel, see http://healthmap.org/r/1z-1. - Mod.MPP]