Generation of Information and Tools to Support the Management of the Avian Influenza Crisis in Poultry
Avian influenza (AI) has become a great risk both for animal and human health. In five years, over 200 million birds have been affected by this disease, including estimations of the ongoing H5N1 epidemic. By bringing together both European and non-European laboratories, the FLUAID project aims to generate data on significant issues linked to AI outbreak management, about which scientific knowledge is currently lacking.
Avian influenza outbreaks have recently caused severe losses to the poultry industry, its stakeholders and ultimately to the EU taxpayer. It is estimated that since 2000, 200 million birds have died or have been culled following infection with influenza viruses subtypes H5 or H7. Approximately 50 million of these birds were from Europe. Most importantly, human infections have also been reported in several of these outbreaks. The ongoing H5N1 outbreaks are a serious concern for food security and human health on a global level, with the crossing of the species barrier representing a serious potential risk of a new human pandemic virus emerging. 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. This has hampered the adequate management of some of the recent crises thus resulting in millions of dead animals and concern over loss of human lives and over management of the pandemic potential.[+] Read More
The primary goal of this proposal will be the joint development and application of novel technologies to combat AI infections. This goal will be achieved through the interaction of leading European institutes along with the active collaboration of laboratories in Indonesia, Pakistan, South Africa, Thailand and Vietnam.
FLUAID will make available specific guidelines for the use of vaccination, including candidate strains for an EU vaccine bank and a validated companion diagnostic test. It will also develop novel, rapid and sensitive pen-side tests which will be validated by both European and non-European partners. This, coupled with improved knowledge on pathogenesis and transmission of the AI virus, will contribute to the development of more effective control measures for the disease to be applied globally. In this way European experience, knowledge and scientific achievements will gain visibility and will be used to support decision making and further research.
The primary applications developed during this project will be related to vaccination and rapid diagnosis of AI.