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Geographical distribution

Based on official disease reports to the WOAH

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) is a disease listed in the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) Terrestrial Animal Health Code and must be reported to the WOAH. The map to the right displays outbreak points reported to the WOAH early warning system since 2005.

As described in the WOAH Terrestrial Animal Health Code, the WOAH early warning system includes immediate notifications and follow-up reports on:

  • First occurrences of a listed disease,
  • Recurrence of an eradicated listed disease,
  • First occurrences of new strain of a pathogenic agent of a listed disease,
  • Recurrence of an eradicated strain,
  • Sudden and unexpected changes in the distribution or increase in incidence or virulence of, or morbidity or mortality caused by the pathogenic agent of a listed disease
  • Occurrence of a listed disease in an unusual host species.

Countries are coloured according to the available information regarding their stable disease situation (disease status legend). This information is provided by countries through the WOAH monitoring system, which is a different reporting channel.
Immediate notifications (points) and disease status (country/region colours) are reported to the WOAH in different spatial and temporal scales, and therefore are displayed in the map as layers which can be filtered independently.

Geographical distribution of human cases

Available through the World Health Organization.

Last updated at: 2023-01-30

For more up to date reports, visit the original data source: WOAH-WAHIS.

Disease

Animal Health Impact

A summary of the disease in animal hosts is given in the WOAH Technical disease card.

The panel to the right summarizes all evidence collected by EFSA from published studies describing natural infections with this agent (as opposed to experimental infections, summarized in the next section). Scroll down to see summaries of the data collected according to the type of field investigation context. The following study context categories are considered, and summaries are shown in a dedicated section of the panel to the right if any references in the category were included in the literature review:

  • Outbreak investigation
  • Passive surveillance (reports of specific surveillance activities following reported cases)
  • Proof of disease freedom (investigations to confirm disease absence)
  • Observational study (case-control or cohorto studies)
  • Active surveillance (active testing of animals and search for cases)
  • Survey (designed sampling and testing of animals)

EFSA conducts regular systematic literature reviews covering studies investigating natural infections with this agent, and published in peer-reviewed literature in English since 1970.

You can download all data collected through systematic literature review here. Data fields are explained in this read-me file.

*The review was last updated in January 2022. The complete list of references is available for download here. If important references to primary studies are missing, contact animal-diseases@efsa.europa.eu. The full review protocol can be downloaded here.

Experimental Inf.

A summary of the disease in animal hosts is given in the WOAH Technical disease card.

The panel to the right summarizes all evidence collected by EFSA from published experimental infection studies describing the health effects of this pathogen in host animal species. Scroll down through the content.

Summaries of available scientific evidence are provided concerning:

  • Host species
  • Start of clinical signs (incubation period)
  • Host species
  • Start of clinical signs (incubation period)
  • Duration of clinical signs
  • All diverse types of clinical signs reported in the different host species
  • Case fatality
  • Meta-analysis of the reported duration of observable clinical signs, accounting for censoring in the experimental infection study groups

EFSA conducts regular systematic literature reviews covering all experimental infections published in peer-reviewed literature in English since 1970.

You can download all data collected through systematic literature review here. Data fields are explained in this read-me file.

*The review was last updated in January 2022. The complete list of references is available for download here. If important references to primary studies are missing, contact animal-diseases@efsa.europa.eu. The full review protocol can be downloaded here.

Public Health

Avian influenza viruses can have zoonotic potential and the risk for transmission to mammals with clinical outcome varies between different strains of virus. Visit the Public Health section of this story map.

Agent

Virus taxonomy

Family: Orthomyxoviridae

Genus: Alphainfluenzavirus

Species: Influenza A virus

Virus characteristics

Refer to the WOAH Technical disease card for a key summary of the virus characteristics.

Virus survival outside living hosts

The panel to the right summarizes all evidence collected by EFSA from published experiments on pathogen survival. Scroll down through the content.

Summaries of available scientific evidence are provided concerning:

  • Survival plots indicating the maximum number of days the virus was detected in different matrices under different conditions (temperature)
  • Half-life studies which documented virus viability decay over time under different temperatures
  • Meta-analysis of the reported virus survival period for matrices in which a sufficient number of studies were found

EFSA conducts regular systematic literature reviews covering pathogen survival experiments published in peer-reviewed literature in English since 1970.

You can download all data collected through systematic literature review here. Data fields are explained in this read-me file.

*The review was last updated in January 2022. The complete list of references is available for download here. If important references to primary studies are missing, contact animal-diseases@efsa.europa.eu. The full review protocol can be downloaded here.

Transmission

Refer to the WOAH Technical disease card for a key summary of the disease transmission and epidemiological parameters.

The panel to the right summarizes all evidence collected by EFSA from published experimental infection studies describing host infectiousness. Scroll down through the content.

Summaries of available scientific evidence are provided concerning:

  • Evidence of Host-host transmission
  • Evidence of transmission through eggs
  • Meta-analysis of the reported duration of the infectious period, accounting for censoring in the experimental infection study groups
  • Data for all animal matrices in which agent presence was demonstrated.

EFSA conducts regular systematic literature reviews covering all experimental infections published in peer-reviewed literature in English since 1970.

You can download all data collected through systematic literature review here. Data fields are explained in this read-me file.

*The review was last updated in January 2022. The complete list of references is available for download here. If important references to primary studies are missing, contact animal-diseases@efsa.europa.eu. The full review protocol can be downloaded here.

Diagnosis

WOAH-prescribed tests for detection of the agent include: virus isolation, real-time-PCR (RT-PCR) and antigen-detection ELISAs or other immunoassays. RT-PCR is the diagnostic method of choice in many laboratories . Assessment of the virus pathogenicity is required to differentiate HPAI from LPAI viruses and this shall be based on gene sequencing or on the intravenous pathogenicity index (IVPI) test results. Serological tests used in poultry include agar gel immunodiffusion (AGID), hemagglutination inhibition (HI) and ELISAs. (WOAH, Terrestrial Manual).

EFSA conducts regular systematic literature reviews covering peer-reviewed literature in English since 1970, covering diagnostic tests approved for use in the European Union (EU).

Data were collected from all evaluations of performance of those tests which provided sensitivity or specificity (or enough data to estimate those needed to be provided). You can browse through the data collected scrolling the panel to the right.

Two main types of performance evaluation studies are reported in literature:

  • (i) those which evaluated test performance using a set of samples from animals with known infectious status (samples from truly infected and non-infected animals);
  • (ii) those which compared test performance against a gold standard test, assuming the result of that test (positive or negative) to represent true positives and true negatives.

Results for these two types of evaluations are presented separately.

We have chosen not to aggregate and summarize the results because the study conditions can vary greatly. Instead, we present below the results for all the articles retrieved from the literature individually, grouped by type of test and, when relevant, animal species.

You can download all data collected through systematic literature review here. Data fields are explained in this read-me file.

The review was last updated in January 2022. The complete list of references is available for download here. If important references to primary studies are missing, contact animal-diseases@efsa.europa.eu. The full review protocol can be downloaded here.

Vaccination

Avian influenza vaccines include both traditional inactivated whole virus vaccines and newer recombinant vectored vaccines. Vaccination should be used with caution as it may place selection pressure on influenza viruses. Vaccination against H5N1 HPAI has been permitted for outdoor poultry and zoo birds in several European Union countries in the 2000s, but it is no longer applied.

Control of HPAI used to be regulated by Council Directive 2005/94/EEC, now repealed and replaced by Regulation (EU) 2016/429 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 March 2016 on transmissible animal diseases and amending and repealing certain acts in the area of animal health (‘Animal Health Law’) .

EFSA conducts regular systematic literature reviews covering peer-reviewed literature in English since 1970, covering commercial vaccines approved for use in the European Union (EU) or third countries.

Data were collected from all evaluations of vaccine performance which met the inclusion criteria specified in the Systematic Literature Review Protocol, COVETLAB consortium. Review Protocol 2021. You can browse through the data collected scrolling the panel to the right.

Two main types of performance evaluation studies are reported in literature:

  • (i) those which evaluated vaccine efficacy
  • (ii) those which reported vaccine coverage after animals were challenged with the disease agent.

Results for these two types of evaluations are presented separately.

We have chosen not to aggregate and summarize the results because the study conditions can vary greatly. Instead, we present below the results for all the articles retrieved from the literature individually, grouped by vaccine and animal species.

You can download all data collected through systematic literature review here. Data fields are explained in this read-me file.

The review was last updated in January 2022. The complete list of references is available for download here. If important references to primary studies are missing, contact animal-diseases@efsa.europa.eu. The full review protocol can be downloaded here.

Treatments

In accordance with the Animal Health Law (AHL) in the EU (see next tab), all birds (Aves) kept at in the affected holdings shall be culled to prevent further spread of the virus. Specific treatments for HPAI are not available and not compliant with the AHL.

Picture credit: Laura Gil Martinez / Internationl Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Public Health

Avian influenza viruses can have zoonotic potential.

Visit the ECDC for information of relevance for Public Health (right panel).

Animal Health Law Risk Assessments

HPAI is listed as a category A diseases in the "Animal Health Law" - Regulation (EU) 2016/429 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 March 2016 on transmissible animal diseases and amending and repealing certain acts in the area of animal health.

EFSA has published a series of Scientific Opinions on risk assessment of several scientific topics within the framework of AHL, upon request by the European Comission (EC). You can browse through the AHL legislations and EFSA’s Scientific Opinions on the right panel.

Acknowledgments

The CoVetLab consortium has been responsible for the systematic literature reviews since 2015, and has delivered story maps to EFSA since 2021. Partners are: Swedish National Veterinary Institute (SVA, Sweden); Wageningen Bioveterinary Research (WBVR, The Netherlands); Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA; UK) and the University of Surrey (UK).

Geographical distribution data has been kindly provided by the World Organisation of Animal Health (WOAH). WOAH-WAHIS (WOAH World Animal Health Information System) is the original source of these data.

EFSA thanks the following experts for their specific contribution to this story map:

  • Expert name1
  • Expert name2

References

The list of references displayed in this storymap is available on the right panel.

You can also download the complete list of references for each of the seven specific knowledge domains for which EFSA carries out systematic literature reviews regularly (living reviews):