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Avian Influenza – research breakthroughs and future of this global threat

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (bird flu) (HPAI) is now a global threat and the scale of bird flu outbreaks across the UK and Europe has been unprecedented with over 337 cases in farmed poultry confirmed across Great Britain since late October 2021.

Wild bird populations have also suffered significant mortalities across multiple species and wild mammals that have scavenged dead bird carcasses have also been infected. In rare cases the virus has also been transmitted to humans, highlighting the zoonotic potential of the disease.

As part of a major research consortium formed last June, the UK’s top scientists – headed by the world-leading research team at the Animal Plant Health Agency (APHA) – have been looking at what it is about the current strains of the virus that has led to larger and longer outbreaks. They have also studied why some birds appear to be demonstrating resistance to bird flu, and how the virus has spread over time.

The consortium has just been awarded a new research grant of 3.3 million of additional funding for further research into avian influenza transmission.

Join Professor Ian Brown Head of Virology at the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) and two fellow members of the research consortium as they talk through the research discoveries to date and the next stages of their research.

The UK Chief Veterinary Officer will also be in attendance to discuss the current status of the disease in the U.K., what farmers should be doing and the policy preventions currently in place.


Speakers included:

Prof Ian Brown, Head of Virology at the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA),

Prof James Wood, Infectious Disease Epidemiologist at the University of Cambridge and Co-Director of Cambridge Infectious Diseases

Prof Paul Digard, Chair of Virology, Deputy Director (Emergence & Impact, The Roslin Institute

Christine Middlemiss, UK’s Chief Veterinary Officer

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