H9N2 Avian Influenza Virus (AIV), a subtype of Influenza A virus, has been one of the most devastating viral diseases in our country’s poultry industry since 2009. It is a widely distributed low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) virus with high economic significance. Unlike High Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI), it is not a notifiable disease from zoonotic point of view. In Bangladesh, LPAIVs of subtype H9N2 co-circulate simultaneously with highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses (HPAIVs) of subtype H5N1 in commercial and backyard poultry making things worse. Clinical outbreak of H9N2 takes 9-30 days with a drop in egg production by 10-55%. Morbidity is 30-100% in case of infected poultry farms while mortality is 06.-5.9% with a mean of 2.8%. However, in broilers, H9N2 viruses are able to cause up to 65 % mortality. So solution of this problem has become a dire need for poultry industry.
H9N2 viruses are constantly evolving and can provide genetic materials for re-assorted new strains of Avian Influenza Virus. Conventional stamping out approach cannot prevent H9N2 alone. We need persistent improvement of rearing conditions as environmental factors are crucial for the induction of severe respiratory signs. Moreover, vaccination with ensured bio-security needs urgent consideration to fight H9N2. Nevertheless, we need to ensure that vaccines are well injected, in the right place, at the right age and at the right dose.
Dr. F H Ansarey
Managing Director & CEO