Evaluating the effect of the within-flock disease transmission rate on premovement active surveillance in low pathogenicity avian influenza-infected flocks

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Premovement active surveillance for low pathogenicity avian influenza (LPAI) may be a useful risk management tool for producers during high-risk periods, such as during an LPAI outbreak, or in areas where there is a recognized high risk for LPAI spread. The effectiveness of three active-surveillance protocols in mitigating LPAI spread risk related to the movement of spent broiler breeders to processing was evaluated in this study. Each protocol differed in the amount of real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RRT-PCR) and serology testing conducted. The protocols were evaluated with the use of disease transmission and active surveillance simulation models parametrized specifically for broiler breeders to estimate the probability of detecting a current or past infection and the mean proportion of infectious birds at the time of sampling in houses where the infection remains undetected at the time of movement after exposure to the virus. The two values were estimated considering flock infection for 1-28 days prior to the day of scheduled movement. A distribution for the adequate contact rate, a parameter that controls the rate of within-house spread in the disease transmission model, was estimated for this study by a novel forward simulation approach with the use of serology data from three LPAI-infected broiler breeder flocks in the United States. The estimated distribution suggests that the lower contact-rate estimates from previously published studies were not a good fit for the serology results observed in these U.S. flocks, though considerable uncertainty remains in the parameter estimate. The results for the probability of detection and mean proportion of infectious, undetected birds suggest that RRT-PCR testing is most beneficial during the early stages of infection postexposure, and serology testing is most beneficial during the later stages of infection, results that are expected to hold for flocks outside the United States as well. Thus, protocols that combine RRT-PCR and serology testing can offer a more balanced approach with good performance over the disease course in a flock.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)238-245
Number of pages8
JournalAvian diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 American Association of Avian Pathologists.All Rights Reserved.


  • low pathogenic avian influenza
  • premovement active surveillance

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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