Livestock Risks and Opportunities: Newcastle Disease and Avian Influenza in Africa

Emma Gillian Gardner

Abstract


Newcastle disease is an endemic and devastating disease in African countries, and is a differential diagnosis for Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI). The objective of this study was to analyze the reporting data from African Union member countries of Newcastle disease to OIE’s World Animal Health Information Database (WAHID), and to characterize the data within the context of Avian Influenza H5N1. Data were gathered from the WAHID database on 54 African Union member countries from January 2000- December 2011. Paired t-tests were performed on reported Newcastle disease outbreaks pre- and post- HPAI introduction to the African continent. Of the 54 countries included, 40.7% had reported outbreak information to the OIE consistently over the study period. Three countries demonstrated a significant difference in mean number of outbreaks reported from 2000-2005 (prior to confirmed outbreaks of HPAI subtype H5N1 on the African continent) compared to 2006-2011.  Surveillance for Newcastle disease in Africa has not improved despite response to outbreaks of HPAI subtype H5N1, which included strengthening diagnostic infrastructure. An analysis and evaluation of Newcastle disease surveillance in Africa would aid in determining how to improve the control of an economically important poultry disease in addition to facilitating the rapid detection of HPAI. Improving Newcastle disease surveillance would benefit the farmers and families who rely on poultry for nutrition and livelihood. It would also benefit the global vigil against emerging infectious diseases.

Keywords


Newcastle Disease; Poultry; Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza; Outbreak preparedness

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References


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