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Study Looks at Improving Bird Flu Vaccination in Indonesia

16 January 2014

INDONESIA - Improving vaccination to eradicate highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 in Indonesia is the focus of a new PhD thesis at Wageningen University in the Netherlands.

HPAI also known as ‘bird flu’, is considered to be a major threat to both poultry farming and to public health. In Thailand and in Europe, HPAI H5N1 is eradicated, mainly because of stamping out and practicing stringent biosafety measures. When HPAI H5N1 occurred in Indonesia in 2004 farmers were not prepared to adhere to stamping out among others because of the lack of a compensation regime, causing the virus to spread further. Not only poultry is frequently infected with avian influenza in Indonesia, so far no other country has had as many cases of human infections with bird flu.

The current way to control avian influenza in Indonesia is by the vaccination of poultry kept in large commercial poultry farms.

At Wageningen University, Okti Nadia Poetri has studied vaccination effectiveness as well as the cause of outbreaks of avian influenza in populations of vaccinated chickens.

Poetri describes how by performing serology in the laboratory test, it is possible to predict whether a specific vaccine strain can offer protection against a circulating virus. This would, in turn, reduce animal experiments necessary to assess vaccine efficacy. Her research may eventually contribute to an improvement of the current vaccination strategy.

Guus Koch, PhD, CVI, supported Poetri as co-supervisor in her research. Ivo Claassen, PhD, CVI, worked several years in Indonesia supporting the Indonesian-Netherlands Partnership on the Prevention and Control of Highly Avian Influenza and met Poetri who got involved in the research on effectiveness of the vaccination for HPAI H5N1.

Okti Nadia Poetri will defend her thesis on 21 January.

Further Reading

You can visit the Avian Flu page by clicking here.

ThePoultrySite News Desk

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