Animal influenza research needs: protecting humans, animals, food, and economies


Hamilton, K.; Pavade, G.; Claes, F.; Dauphin, G.; Daniels, P.

Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses 7(Suppl. 2): 34-36

2014


[
D01:10.1111/irv.12078
www.influenzajoumalcom
N!!
m
1:
Editorial
Animal
influenza
research
needs:
protecting
humans,
animals,
food,
and
economies
Keith
Hamilton,'
Gounalan
Pavade,
a
Filip
Claes,
b
Gwenaelle
Dauphin,
b
Peter
Daniels`
'World
Organisation
for
Animal
Health
(OIE),
Paris,
France.
b
Food
and
Agriculture
Organization
of
the
United
Nations
(FAO),
Rome,
Italy.
`Australian
Animal
Health
Laboratory,
Geelong,
Vic.,
Australia.
Please
cite
this
paper
as:
Hamilton
et
al.
(2013)
Animal
influenza
research
needs:
protecting
humans,
animals,
food,
and
economies.
Influenza
and
Other
Respiratory
Viruses
7(Suppl.
2),
34-36.
Influenza
A
viruses
infect
a
wide
range
of
animals
including
poultry,
wild
birds,
pigs,
horses,
dogs,
and
marine
mammals.
Influenza
in
animals
threatens
animal
health
and
welfare,
agricultural
productivity,
public
health,
food
security,
and
the
livelihoods
of
farmers
across
the
globe.
The
recent
H1N1
pandemic
of
2009,
continuous
reporting
of
zoonotic
infec-
tions
with
highly
pathogenic
avian
influenza
(HPAI)
H5N1
and
other
avian
and
swine
influenza
viruses,
such
as
H3N2v,
raise
ongoing
concerns
regarding
the
emergence
of
zoonotic
viruses
with
pandemic
potential.'
Different
strains
of
influenza
A
virus
show
host
specificity
and
are
often
defined
by
the
species
in
which
they
are
initially
found
to
be
circulating.
However,
over
time
the
situation
becomes
more
complicated
as
the
viruses
continuously
evolve,
through
mutation
and
reassortment,
and
in
some
cases
are
transmitted
from
species
to
species.
The
next
major
pandemic
is
likely
to
be
caused
by
a
strain
of
influenza
virus
that
is
new
to
that
generation;
a
virus
to
which
the
human
population
has
little
or
no
immunity.
Almost
certainly
such
a
strain
would
contain
genes
from
influenza
viruses
that
have
been
circulating
in
animals.
A
better
understanding
of
the
mechanisms
responsible
for
interspecies
transmission,
and
information
on
host
adapta-
tion
and
pathogenicity
are
needed
to
allow
more
informed
assessment
as
to
when
and
where
the
next
pandemic
may
arise.
Timely
identification
of
viruses
with
pandemic
potential
could
ultimately
reduce
the
impact
of
a
new
pandemic.
With
current
levels
of
knowledge
and
surveillance,
it
is
not
possible
to
accurately
assess
geographic
location
of
all
animal
influenza
viruses,
the
production
systems
in
which
they
circulate,
and
which
of
these
viruses
may
be
transmitted
to
and
adapt
in
the
human
population.
This
makes
predictions
about
which
strains
of
influenza
virus
to
select
for
vaccines
for
pandemic
preparedness
a
challenging
task.
With
mortality
rates
reaching
up
to
100%
in
affected
populations,
HPAI
viruses
continue
to
have
a
devastating
impact
in
poultry
populations.
Low-pathogenic
avian
influ-
enza
(LPAI)
viruses
also
have
a
significant
and
variable
impact
on
poultry
production,
depending
on
the
strain
and
health
status
of
the
birds,
and
may
evolve
into
HPAI
viruses,
for
example,
the
recent
HPAI
H7N3
outbreak
in
Jalisco,
Mexico
2'
s
These
impacts
together
with
consequential
cost
of
control
and
trade
measures,
aimed
at
preventing
further
spread,
lead
to
huge
economic
costs.
There
is
often
a
greater
impact
on
countries
with
a
lower
Gross
Domestic
Product
(GDP),
who
rely
on
agriculture
for
economic
development
and
for
sustenance.
Early
detection
of
HPAI
and
H5
and
H7
LPAI
virus
infections
in
poultry
is
essential
for
an
effective
response
which
relies
on
a
combination
of
classic
control
measures
(culling
infected
flocks
and
high
risk
contacts,
disinfection,
biosecurity,
and
trade
measures)
and,
where
appropriate,
vaccination.
3
Delays
in
detection
lead
to
spiraling
costs
to
keep
epidemics
under
control
and
make
the
disease
more
difficult
to
eradicate.
In
the
case
of
H5N1
HPAI,
effective
control
in
the
animal
source
is
needed
to
reduce
the
public
health
risk.
Developing
countries
do
not
always
have
the
resources
to
maintain
the
infrastructure
and
technical
capacities
needed
for
rapid
and
accurate
diagnostic
testing
and
characterization
of
viral
strains.
These
countries
rely
on
international
reference
laboratories
to
test
their
specimens
and
characterize
the
viruses.
Research
is
needed
to
develop
accurate,
cheap,
and
robust
diagnostic
tests
to
ensure
that
the
disease
is
detected
early,
with
sufficient
confidence,
to
allow
timely
initiation
of
effective
response
measures.
For
initial
disease
confirmation,
both
sensitivity
and
specificity
of
tests
are
essential
because
the
implications
of
false-negative
and
false-positive
results
can
be
considerable.
Animal
influenza
is
not
only
a
constraint
for
agriculture
and
food
production.
Equine
influenza
is
an
ongoing
problem
for
companion
and
competition
horses
and
has
a
huge
impact
on
the
horse
racing
industry.
The
2007
equine
influenza
outbreak
in
Australia
is
estimated
to
have
cost
the
horse
racing
and
gambling
industries
3.6
billion
Australian
dollars
in
lost
revenue.
4
Research,
accompanied
by
increased
global
surveillance,
is
needed
to
ensure
that
the
equine
sector
34
©
2013
Blackwell
Publishing
Ltd
Animal
influenza
research
needs
I
is
able
to
access
effective
up-to-date
vaccines
so
that
many
can
continue
to
benefit
from
the
enjoyment
and
financial
gains
that
horse
sports
offer.
Some
suggest
that
historic
accounts
showing
a
temporal
relationship
between
respiratory
disease
in
horses
and
humans
may
implicate
influenza
viruses.
5
However,
these
accounts
date
back
to
a
time
before
influenza
viruses
had
been
isolated,
and
a
clear
link
to
influenza
as
we
know
it
would
be
difficult
to
prove.
Influenza
viruses
of
subtype
H3N8
currently
circulating
in
the
horse
population
have
also
crossed
the
species
barrier
and
become
established
in
dogs.
However,
this
subtype
and
other
strains
of
equine
influenza
viruses
do
not
appear
to
be
a
significant
zoonosis
despite
intense
exposure
of
owners
to
their
horses
and
dogs,
and
vice
versa.
An
understanding
of
the
underlying
reasons
for
this
may
help
to
explain
why
other
influenza
viruses
are
zoonotic.
Effective
and
cost-effective
control
require
targeting
resources
for
optimal
impact.
Research
is
needed
to
gain
an
understanding
of
how
control
measures
can
be
better
targeted.
More
rapid
control
in
the
animal
population
will
limit
impacts
on
animal
health
and
public
health
when
the
influenza
virus
is
zoonotic
and
will
minimize
costs
in
terms
of
production
losses
and
access
to
international
markets.
Currently,
vaccination
does
not
always
prevent
infection
of
birds
nor
does
it
prevent
infected
vaccinated
birds
from
shedding
virus.
If
vaccines
are
not
adequately
matched
antigenically
to
circulating
field
viruses
and
at
least
60-80%
of
the
susceptible
populations
are
immunized,
vaccination
as
a
program
will
not
be
effective.
Further
research
is
needed
to
improve
the
effectiveness
of
the
control
measures
themselves,
such
as
vaccination,
and
to
provide
improved
access
to
resources
needed
for
control.
Despite
unprecedented
levels
of
international
investment
to
support
avian
influenza
surveillance
between
2004
and
2009,
global
surveillance
for
influenza
viruses
in
animals
is
woefully
inadequate,
with
too
little
being
undertaken
without
adequate
coordination.
Improvements
in
surveillance
are
required
to
provide
early
warning
for
effective
control
and
to
inform
much
needed
research.
6
As
well
as
surveillance
in
domestic
animals
(poultry,
horses
and
pigs),
surveillance
in
wildlife
is
important;
it
is
now
evident
that
wild
birds
also
play
a
role
in
the
primary
introduction
of
avian
influenza
in
previously
disease-free
areas.'
Today,
we
are
not
able
to
fully
manage
the
threats
and
impacts
from
animal
influenza.
In
one
form
or
another,
influenza
A
viruses
are
circulating
in
every
country
on
the
planet.
Our
understanding
of
the
mechanisms
responsible
for
interspecies
transmission,
adaptation,
and
pathogenicity
is
incomplete,
and
the
methods
for
risk
assessment
and
disease
control
are
rudimentary.
Challenges
to
reduce
threats
from
animal
influenzas
are
considerable
and
will
only
be
improved
through
extensive
research
and
innovation.
Continued
reports
of
notifiable
avian
influenza
s
and
animal
influenza
associated
human
infections
highlight
the
need
to
monitor
influenza
viruses
in
all
animal
species
to
better
understand
their
role
in
causing
pandemics
and
severe
zoonotic
infections,
and
in
reducing
agricultural
productivity.
OFFLU
is
the
World
Organisation
for
Animal
Health
(OIE)
Food
and
Agricultural
Organization
of
the
United
Nations
(FAO)
global
network
of
expertise
on
animal
influenza,
established
in
2005
to
address
the
animal
and
public
health
threats
from
H5N1
HPAI.
Since
then,
its
mandate
has
been
extended
to
cover
all
animal
influenza
viruses.
OFFLU
is
unique
in
that
its
participation
comprises
a
global
representation
of
leading
experts
in
animal
influenza
including
researchers,
diagnosticians,
policy
makers,
econo-
mists,
and
epidemiologists.
One
of
OFFLU's
core
objectives
is
to
advocate
for
more
research,
to
highlight
specific
influenza
research
objectives,
promote
their
development,
and
to
ensure
coordination.
OFFLU
works
closely
with
WHO
on
all
influenza
issues
at
the
human—animal
interface,
including
identifying
commonly
agreed
research
priorities.
Following
the
OFFLU
annual
technical
meeting
in
2010
attended
by
avian,
swine,
equine,
and
public
health
experts,
it
was
decided
that
there
was
an
urgent
need
to
develop
a
Research
Agenda
to
highlight
and
coordinate
research
priorities
for
the
animal
influenza
sector.
The
Research
Agenda
highlighted
needs
in
different
animal
species
and
at
the
human—animal
interface.
It
is
designed
to
help
policy
makers,
researchers,
and
donors
ensure
that
their
efforts
and
resources
are
targeted
to
areas
where
there
is
an
identified
need.
The
agenda
should
also
be
used
to
leverage
funds
for
animal
influenza
research.
In
today's
world
where
there
is
a
huge
volume
of
information
of
variable
quality,
the
OFFLU
Research
Agenda
has
been
designed
to
be
concise
and
digestible;
it
comprises
only
11
pages.
The
animal
and
human
influenza
networks
share
the
common
goal
of
reducing
public
health
threats
from
animal
influenza
viruses.
OFFLU
has
been
working
closely
with
its
parent
organizations,
the
OIE
and
the
FAO,
and
its
partner
the
World
Health
Organization
(WHO)
to
ensure
that
its
efforts
are
complementary
and
well
coordinated.
In
2008
and
2010,
the
OIE-WHO-FAO
tripartite
held
joint
technical
consultations
on
avian
influenza
at
the
human—animal
inter-
face
in
Verona,
Italy
and
discussed
other
technical
interface
topics
of
common
interest.
The
experts
identified
that
more
research
is
needed
on
modes
of
transmission,
behaviors
associated
with
increased
risks
of
transmission,
virologic
and
ecologic
aspects,
and
viral
persistence
in
the
environment
to
address
the
human
exposure
risks
to
H5N1
infection.
9
Importantly
in
practical
terms,
OFFLU
contributes
animal
influenza
data
to
the
biannual
WHO
influenza
vaccine
composition
meetings.
This
information
is
critical
in
allow-
ing
selection
of
the
most
appropriate
strains
of
virus
for
vaccines
to
protect
against
potential zoonotic
pandemic
©
2013
Blackwell
Publishing
Ltd
35
1
influenza,
including
H5N1
and
H9N2
avian
influenza.
m
Where
zoonotic
strains
of
influenza
are
undergoing
antigenic
drift
in
animal
populations,
the
situation
is
being
monitored
in
real
time
to
allow
selection
of
relevant
influenza
virus
seed
strains
and
antigens
for
vaccines
for
public
health
prepared-
ness.
OFFLU
and
WHO
experts
are
working
together
to
better
understand
which
animal
influenza
viruses
may
pose
a
risk
to
human
health.
This
ongoing
risk
assessment
is
supported
by
OFFLU's
drive
to
improve
and
better
collate
data
from
avian,
swine,
and
equine
influenza
surveillance
programs
world-wide.
Animal
influenza
research
is
suffering
from
donor
fatigue,
and
it
is
a
continuing
challenge
to
ensure
that
sufficient
resources
can
be
secured
to
address
the
priorities
that
have
been
identified,
ultimately
to
improve
health
and
economies.
It
is
considered
possible
to
prevent
a
human
influenza
pandemic
by
identifying
influenza
viruses
with
pandemic
potential
in
animal
species;
this
will
only
be
achieved
through
further
influenza
research
studies
in
animals.
A
large
body
of
animal
influenza
data
has
been
generated
in
recent
years,
presenting
a
real
opportunity
to
increase
our
understanding
of
how
to
identify
risk
and
better
control
the
adverse
effects
of
influenza
in
animals
and
at
the
human—animal
interface.
Many
questions
still
remain
to
be
answered.
Structured
and
coordinated
research
toward
prioritized
goals
and
objectives
will
greatly
facilitate
this.
The
OFFLU
Research
Agenda'
is
a
first
for
the
animal
health
sector
and
will
help
to
steer
animal
influenza
research
toward
the
identified
objectives,
providing
maximum
ben-
efits
for
public
and
animal
health.
The
influenza
research
priorities
focus
on
several
topics
including
control
and
education,
diagnostics,
epidemiology,
immunology
and
immune
responses,
pathogenesis,
transmission,
vaccines
and
vaccination
and
virus
characteristics
and
evolution
in
poultry,
wild
birds,
swine
and
equine.
The
full
OFFLU
research
agenda
can
be
viewed
at
http://
www.offlu.net/fileadmin/home/en/publications/pdf/OFFLU
_Research_Priorities_photo.pdf.
Acknowledgements
The
authors
would
like
to
thank
David
Swayne,
Ian
Brown,
Kristien
Van
Reeth
and
Ann
Cullinane.
Conflict
of
interest
The
authors
have
no
potential
conflicts
of
interest
to
declare.
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©
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