School of Public Health - International Health
Thailand and Laos
Influenza Virus and Influenza-Like-Illness (ILI) Surveillance and Trade Network Mapping at Human-Poultry Interfaces in Thailand
Zoonotic influenza is an emerging infectious disease obstacle plaguing modern global health. Influenza A viruses (IAVs) can spillover into human populations through close contact with domestic infected avian species such as poultry. The most recent spillover events of avian influenza viruses into human populations have occurred at human-poultry food system interfaces such as live bird markets. It is important to study influenza at human-poultry food system interfaces due to the high density of birds and consistent and risky contact between humans and poultry. An active human-poultry interface in conjunction with high population density inter-human mixing has the potential to ignite an influenza pandemic. This study aims to contribute to the understanding of the epidemiology of IAVs circulating in humans and poultry in Northern Thailand by surveying poultry sector workers and birds at medium to large farms, live bird markets and wet markets in the Chiang Rai, Phayao and Nan Provinces. The study will also map and analyze poultry production and trade networks in the study area to inform future risk-based targeted influenza surveillance in areas of highest production and trade. Last, the proposed field research will utilize phylogenetic analyses to characterize the diversity of IAVs in the poultry sector and compare this diversity to the characteristics of the trade network. The proposed work uses innovative methods and seeks to answer unique questions in an established national influenza surveillance project to support influenza pandemic prevention, preparedness and control in Thailand.
PI Mentor: Christopher Heaney