Image Courtesy of David Roshier
In 2006, the National Avian Influenza Wild Bird (NAIWB) Steering Group was established to ensure national coordination and collaboration of wild bird avian influenza surveillance activities. In 2017, the NAIWB Steering Group expanded surveillance to include Avian Paramyxoviruses (APMVs), predominantly targeting the APMV-1. WHA provides support to the NAIWB Steering Group and collates avian influenza (AI) and avian paramyxovirus-1 (APMV-1) surveillance data from wild birds sampled across Australia. The NAIWB Steering Group meets quarterly via teleconference with one annual face to face meeting.
The NAIWB Surveillance Program activities are conducted Australia-wide, with funding provided by the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources and in 2011/12 funding from the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) Chicken Meat Program. Significant in-kind support is provided by the jurisdictional agencies, researchers and representative’s institutions.
The NAIWB Surveillance Program has two main components: targeted surveillance and general surveillance. Targeted surveillance, for AI and APMV-1, will continue to focus on sampling from Anseriformes (waterfowl), specifically from locations where there is known mixing with birds from the Charadriiformes (shorebirds) Order and that bring waterfowl into close proximity to poultry and humans. Where possible, surveillance will continue in locations previously sampled to obtain longitudinal data. General surveillance focuses on exclusion of AIV and APMVs from mass mortality and morbidity events in wild birds around Australia and the Australian Antarctic Territory.
Between July 2005 and June 2016, over 94,000 wild birds have been tested for influenza viruses. To date, no highly pathogenic AI viruses have been identified in Australian wild birds. However, there is evidence of infection with low pathogenic AI viruses (LPAI).
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