Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
, 35 (3), 189-205

The Challenge of Avian Influenza to the Veterinary Community


The Challenge of Avian Influenza to the Veterinary Community

Ilaria Capua et al. Avian Pathol.


Avian influenza (AI) is a listed disease of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) that has become a disease of great importance both for animal and human health. The increased relevance of AI in the fields of animal and human health has highlighted the lack of scientific information on several aspects of the disease, which has hampered the adequate management of some of the recent crises. Millions of animals have died, and there is growing concern over the loss of human lives and over the management of the pandemic potential. The present paper aims to identify areas of knowledge of veterinary competence that need to be improved in order to generate information to support the global AI crisis, and highlights the major changes in AI legislation, including regulations related to trade. It also reviews the human health implications of AI, including the mechanisms by which a human pandemic virus may be generated, and the food safety issues related to this infection. The application of control policies, ranging from stamping out to emergency and prophylactic vaccination, are discussed on the basis of data generated in recent outbreaks, and in the light of new regulations, also in view of the maintenance of good animal welfare. Poultry veterinarians working for the industry or for the public sector represent the first line of defence against the pandemic threat and for the prevention and control of this infection in poultry and in wild birds. However, given the current situation, it is imperative that close collaboration is sought and achieved by health officials involved in the veterinary, agricultural and medical aspects of the disease. Only through the exchange of data, experiences, views and information will it be possible to combat this zoonosis, which represents a major threat to public health and animal well-being.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 31 PubMed Central articles

See all "Cited by" articles

MeSH terms


LinkOut - more resources