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The Italian experience in the control of Avian Influenza applying emergency and prophylactic vaccination. Luca Busani Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie. The AI challenge in Italy.

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The Italian experience in the control of Avian Influenza applying emergency and prophylactic vaccination

Luca Busani

Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie

the ai challenge in italy
The AI challenge in Italy
  • High density of susceptible species (turkeys) in a limited area (Densely Populated Poultry Area-DPPA)
  • Wetlands and resting sites for migratory waterfowl in close proximity of this DPPA
  • Several introductions of LPAI viruses from wild birds resulting in some cases in major epidemics


Distribution of poultry holdings

Mallard population in Italy:

110,000 birds/year

@ 3.300 poultry holdings

@ 95 million bird places

italy ai outbreaks from 1997 to 2005
Italy: AI outbreaks from 1997 to 2005
  • 1997-1998 HPAI: H5N2 8 outbreaks, backyard flocks, prompt eradication
  • 2000 LPAI-HPAI: H7N1, total costs € 500 million
  • 2000-2001 LPAI: H7N1 78 outbreaks
  • 2002-2003 LPAI: H7N3 388 outbreaks
  • 2004 LPAI: H7N3 28 outbreaks (September-November)
  • 2005 LPAI: H5N2 15 outbreaks (April-May)

Total direct costs: 170 million euros

lpai prevention control strategies
LPAI: prevention control strategies
  • Increase of farms bio-security level
  • Prompt detection of any AI virus introduction in:
    • Poultry
    • Wild birds
  • Vaccination (H5–H7 virus subtypes)
  • Reduction of farm density, mainly turkey farms (long term strategy)

More than 1000 farms

More than 31 million birds




vaccination data management system
Vaccination: data management system

Reports to decision makers

Laboratory data

Poultry populations data

Central data collection and analysis

Monitoring activity

Poultry vaccination data

numbers of vaccination in italy 2000 2006
Numbers of vaccination in Italy (2000-2006)

Vaccination-related costs: 35 million €

payed by the farmers

weekly incidence rate of lpai h7n3 outbreaks
Weekly incidence rate of LPAI H7N3 outbreaks

From 31/12/02 vaccination of turkeys (H7N1)


IC (2.3- 3.9)


IC (0.5-0.7)

lpai epidemics and vaccination in italy
LPAI epidemics and vaccination in Italy
  • emergency vaccination
  • preventative vaccination
  • c,d) poor adherence to the vaccination protocol
  • c) 17 flocks vaccinated only once or twice, instead of three times as scheduled;
  • d) all flocks vaccinated only once
conclusions i
Conclusions I
  • Emergency and prophylactic AI vaccination can reduce financial losses due to AI epidemics
  • In order to maintain trade, vaccination must be coupled with monitoring and aimed at eradication
  • Wild birds and backyard flocks must be included in the monitoring programs
  • The problems related to AI vaccines and vaccination must be considered when intervention is planned
conclusion ii
Conclusion II
  • Control of AI in DPPAs requires a coordinated territorial strategy including surveillance, early detection and prompt intervention and vaccination should be part of it
  • This strategy must be adapted to the field conditions
  • It requires dedicated resources
  • The sustainability in the long period is the major drawback

Grazie per l’attenzione…

Luca Busani Istituto Zooprofilattico delle Venezie – CREVcrev.lbusani@izsvenezie.itStefano Marangon Istituto Zooprofilattico delle