We have conducted this study to characterise the movement and contact patterns of poultry in Bangladesh that could be associated with transmission of newly-introduced subtypes of avian influenza virus in two districts of Bangladesh as well as to summarise the patterns arising from the network analysis in a way that can inform the parameterisation of spatially explicit stochastic models of transmission of newly-introduced subtypes of avian influenza virus in the two types of areas.
Bangladesh is a South Asian country with large human and poultry populations which is highly affected with frequent outbreaks of both high and low pathogenic avian influenza since 2007. Very few studies have been carried out to reveal the farm biosecurity at backyard poultry that might have contributed to the spread of avian influenza in Bangladesh, specially rural areas. Therefore, we aimed to characterize biosecurity practices of poultry farm including the movement of live birds which is a well-known risk factor for the geographic dissemination of the virus among poultry flocks and personnel hygiene of poultry workers for rapid detection and effective risk management of incursion of HPAI and LPAI viruses.
This cross sectional survey was carried out using pretested questionnaire in backyard Poultry holdings of Kalkini Upazila of Madaripur district in Dhaka division which has a relatively low proportion of commercial poultry farms and high proportion of backyard poultry holdings.1-mode and 2-mode social network analysis was also carried out to show the farm to farm movements. From each primarily selected farm, details of the last 2 movements of live poultry along with source/destination details was collected with pre-tested questionnaire. Later, data was stored in Epi-Info, analysed with STATA 14 and UCINET. 315 backyard HH from 2 villages of Kalkini Upazila, Madaripur District were randomly selected.
The study revealed that majority backyard farm owners do not maintain the standard biosecurity measures whereas a significant amount of the study included farms rear multiple poultry species. No poultry workers found to use any personal protective equipments (PPEs) while cleaning the litter/mats (Figure 2). The farms with multiple poultry species feed them in same container and keep them in same shed which is a major risk factor for disease transmission.Movement patterns differed in a number of aspects (Table 1) and this information is useful for the establishment of the movement parameter settings in a simulation model of avian influenza incursion.
The findings on farm biosecurity practices and movement pattern from this study will support to develop risk-based surveillance and contingency policies as well as to minimize the spread between poultry units and also from poultry to people for novel AI viruses in Bangladesh.