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International Journal of Poultry Science

.: Home > International Journal of Poultry Science > 2008 > Volume 7 Number 6 > K. Dhama1, M. Mahendran2 and S. Tomar3

Pathogens Transmitted by Migratory Birds: Threat Perceptions to Poultry Health and Production

K. Dhama1, M. Mahendran2 and S. Tomar3
1Avian Diseases Section, Division of Pathology, Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar, (U.P.) - 243 122, India 2Avian Diseases Section, Division of Pathology, Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar, (U.P.) 243 122, India 3Department of Animal Sciences, Central Agricultural Research Institute (CARI), Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands - 744 101, India
Abstract :

The role of migrating wild birds in transmitting diseases of poultry or zoonoses is a contentious issue as the researchers and naturalists stands divided regarding their capability to disperse pathogens over continents. Recently, migratory birds got world wide attention during the bird flu outbreaks, as they were
found capable to disseminate the deadly H5N1 avian influenza (bird flu) virus, without themselves getting
affected. However, the death of migratory birds due to H5N1, reported from Asia, has fuelled anxiety and
concern over the whole issue. Apart from avian influenza, migratory birds are also thought to play role in the
transmission of avian viruses like Newcastle disease virus, avian pneumovirus and duck plague virus.
Similarly, bacterial pathogens like Chlamydophila psittaci and Pasteurella multocida can be transmitted to
domestic poultry via migratory birds. They are also known to spread West Nile virus, equine encephalitis
virus, Borrelia burgdorferi and enteropathogens like Campylobacter and Salmonella, which could affect
animals as will as human beings. To prevent such etiological agents from entering poultry premises, strict
biosecurity and constant surveillance are of paramount importance. Hence, in the scenario of migratory birds contributing significantly to the global spread of infectious diseases, a better understanding of their role in
the disease epidemiology has to be gained by implementing superior surveillance and tracking strategies.

Keywords :
Avian influenza, biosecurity, migratory birds, poultry diseases, surveillance, wild birds

Date Deposited : 12 Jul 2011 11:30

Last Modified : 12 Jul 2011 11:30

Official URL:

Volume 7, Number 6, - 2008 , ISSN 1682-8356

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