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Assessment of poultry rearing practices and risk factors of H5N1 and H9N2 virus circulating among backyard chickens and ducks in rural communities

Version 3 2024-06-19, 15:59
Version 2 2024-06-04, 12:39
Version 1 2023-02-10, 02:11
journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-19, 15:59 authored by A Islam, S Islam, E Amin, S Shano, MA Samad, T Shirin, MM Hassan, MS Flora
Background The avian influenza virus (AIV) causes significant economic losses by infecting poultry and occasional spillover to humans. Backyard farms are vulnerable to AIV epidemics due to poor health management and biosecurity practices, threatening rural households’ economic stability and nutrition. We have limited information about the risk factors associated with AIV infection in backyard poultry in Bangladesh. Hence, we conducted a cross-sectional survey comprising epidemiological and anthropological investigations to understand the poultry rearing practices and risk factors of AIV circulation among backyard poultry in selected rural communities. Methods We sampled 120 poultry from backyard farms (n = 30) of the three selected communities between February 2017 and January 2018. We tested swab samples for the matrix gene (M gene) followed by H5, H7, and H9 subtypes using real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR). We applied multivariable logistic regression for risk factor analysis. Furthermore, we conducted an observational study (42 hours) and informal interviews (n = 30) with backyard farmers to record poultry-raising activities in rural communities. Results We detected that 25.2% of the backyard poultry tested positive for AIV, whereas 5% tested positive for H5N1 and 10.8% tested positive for H9N2. Results showed that scavenging in both household garden and other crop fields has higher odds of AIV than scavenging in the household garden (AOR: 24.811; 95% CI: 2.11–292.28), and keeping a cage inside the house has higher odds (AOR:14.5; 95% CI: 1.06–198.51) than keeping it in the veranda, cleaning the cage twice a week or weekly has a higher risk than cleaning daily (AOR: 34.45; 95% CI: 1.04–1139.65), dumping litter or droppings (AOR: 82.80; 95% CI: 3.91–1754.59) and dead birds or wastage (AOR: 109.92, 95% CI: 4.34–2785.29) near water bodies and bushes have a higher risk than burring in the ground, slaughtering and consuming sick birds also had a higher odd of AIV (AOR: 73.45, 95% CI: 1.56–3457.73) than treating the birds. The anthropological investigation revealed that household members had direct contact with the poultry in different ways, including touching, feeding, slaughtering, and contacting poultry feces. Poultry is usually kept inside the house, sick poultry are traditionally slaughtered and eaten, and most poultry raisers do not know that diseases can transmit from backyard poultry to humans. Conclusions This study showed the circulation of H5N1 and H9N2 virus in backyard poultry in rural communities; associated with species, scavenging area of the poultry, location of the poultry cage, the practice of litter, wastage, droppings, and dead bird disposal, and practice of handling sick poultry. We suggest improving biosecurity practices in backyard poultry and mass awareness campaigns to reduce incidences of AIV in household-level poultry farms in rural communities in Bangladesh.









United States







Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal


Samanta I


10 October


Public Library of Science (PLoS)