Avian influenza and vaccination


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Avian influenza and vaccination


After a few quiet months, the Netherlands once again witnessed outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza in November and early December 2023, affecting both commercial and non-commericial poultry flocks. While the outbreak at the end of July 2023 in commercial layers still involved the variant commonly referred to as the ‘gull variant,’ this was no longer the case for the outbreaks in November and December 2023. A new variant of the H5N1 virus was identified in the outbreaks on 11th, 14th and 15th of November. This virus shares similarities with the strain that has caused numerous outbreaks since 2021. Additionally, this new variant of the H5N1 virus has been detected in wild ducks and geese. Since November 2023, there has been an increase in mortality among these animals. (source: WUR; New variant of avian influenza virus in Renswoude).


The avian influenza (AI) field trial is currently in full swing. On 15th of September 2023, pullets were vaccinated with various promising vaccines targeting the H5 segment of the avian influenza  virus and were subsequently placed at a rearing farm in the Netherlands. These vaccines have undergone prior testing in laboratory conditions, showing promising outcomes. The AI field trial aims to assess the effectiveness of the vaccines in birds kept in field conditions.
Throughout the rearing and production period, animals from the AI field trial will be deliberately exposed to the highly pathogenic H5N1 virus in controlled environments at the research facilities of Wageningen Bioveterinary Research (WBVR) in Lelystad. This exposure will help evaluate the efficacy of the vaccines. Read more


In this Highlights report you can also find more information on:

Update reovirus tenosynovitis: majority of cases due to new genotype
Animal health barometer for poultry, 3rd quarter 2023

Highlights report Poultry 

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