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Annual trading patterns and risk factors of avian influenza A/H5 and A/H9 virus circulation in turkey birds (Meleagris gallopavo) at live bird markets in Dhaka city, Bangladesh

Version 2 2024-05-31, 16:21
Version 1 2023-08-14, 02:46
journal contribution
posted on 2024-05-31, 16:21 authored by A Islam, E Amin, S Islam, ME Hossain, A Al Mamun, M Sahabuddin, MA Samad, T Shirin, MZ Rahman, MM Hassan
The impacts of the avian influenza virus (AIV) on farmed poultry and wild birds affect human health, livelihoods, food security, and international trade. The movement patterns of turkey birds from farms to live bird markets (LBMs) and infection of AIV are poorly understood in Bangladesh. Thus, we conducted weekly longitudinal surveillance in LBMs to understand the trading patterns, temporal trends, and risk factors of AIV circulation in turkey birds. We sampled a total of 423 turkeys from two LBMs in Dhaka between May 2018 and September 2019. We tested the swab samples for the AIV matrix gene (M-gene) followed by H5, H7, and H9 subtypes using real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR). We used exploratory analysis to investigate trading patterns, annual cyclic trends of AIV and its subtypes, and a generalized estimating equation (GEE) logistic model to determine the factors that influence the infection of H5 and H9 in turkeys. Furthermore, we conducted an observational study and informal interviews with traders and vendors to record turkey trading patterns, demand, and supply and turkey handling practices in LBM. We found that all trade routes of turkey birds to northern Dhaka are unidirectional and originate from the northwestern and southern regions of Bangladesh. The number of trades from the source district to Dhaka depends on the turkey density. The median distance that turkey was traded from its source district to Dhaka was 188 km (Q1 = 165, Q3 = 210, IQR = 45.5). We observed seasonal variation in the median and average distance of turkey. The qualitative findings revealed that turkey farming initially became reasonably profitable in 2018 and at the beginning of 2019. However, the fall in demand and production in the middle of 2019 may be related to unstable market pricing, high feed costs, a shortfall of adequate marketing facilities, poor consumer knowledge, and a lack of advertising. The overall prevalence of AIV, H5, and H9 subtypes in turkeys was 31% (95% CI: 26.6–35.4), 16.3% (95% CI: 12.8–19.8), and 10.2% (95% CI: 7.3–13.1) respectively. None of the samples were positive for H7. The circulation of AIV and H9 across the annual cycle showed no seasonality, whereas the circulation of H5 showed significant seasonality. The GEE revealed that detection of AIV increases in retail vendor business (OR: 1.71; 95% CI: 1.12–2.62) and the bird’s health status is sick (OR: 10.77; 95% CI: 4.31–26.94) or dead (OR: 11.33; 95% CI: 4.30–29.89). We also observed that winter season (OR: 5.83; 95% CI: 2.80–12.14) than summer season, dead birds (OR: 61.71; 95% CI: 25.78–147.75) and sick birds (OR 8.33; 95% CI: 3.36–20.64) compared to healthy birds has a higher risk of H5 infection in turkeys. This study revealed that the turkeys movements vary by time and season from the farm to the LBM. This surveillance indicated year-round circulation of AIV with H5 and H9 subtypes in turkey birds in LBMs. The seasonality and health condition of birds influence H5 infection in birds. The trading pattern of turkey may play a role in the transmission of AIV viruses in the birds. The selling of sick turkeys infected with H5 and H9 highlights the possibility of virus transmission to other species of birds sold at LBMs and to people.



Frontiers in Veterinary Science



Article number





Lausanne, Switzerland







Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal


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