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SKHB IPB University Holds an International Webinar on Avian Influenza and Presents Experts from Utrecht University, The Netherlands

The International Webinar was held by the School of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences (SVMBS) IPB University on 9/5 online via Zoom. The webinar presents Prof. Dr. Arjan Stegmen from Utrecht University with the topic “Avian Influenza A virus (H5N1 clade course of the panzootic and effectiveness of control measures”. The webinar was moderated by Dr. drh Okti Nadia Poetri, M.Si, M.Sc, lecturer at SKHB IPB University.

This molecular epidemiology expert started his topic by explaining about the AI ??virus. AI disease is caused by the influenza A virus which has a high ability to mutate and has many serotypes. Serotypes are determined by two types of surface proteins, namely hemagglutinin (HA/H) and Neuraminidase (NA/N). There are 18 HA subtypes and 11 NA subtypes. Subtype changes in this virus occur due to mutations (drift) and genetic exchange (shift).

He further explained that wild water birds are natural hosts of the Influenza A virus, and can transmit the virus from one bird to another through the oro-fecal transmission. The virus in the contaminated water will be ingested by the birds and excreted from the bird’s body through the faeces and then contaminate the water. Viruses can survive in cold water for several months to a year.

“Avian Influenza, besides infecting chickens and wild water birds, can also infect humans and various other types of animals, such as pigs, horses, dogs, camels, bats, whales and seals,” he explained.

Prof. Stegmen continued his explanation by explaining the history of the disease. In 1996 H5N1 High Pathogenicity Avian Influenza (HPAI) appeared in China. Because the virus could not be completely eliminated, in 2003 it began to spread throughout the world, including Indonesia.

AI disease in poultry if transmitted to humans is called bird flu. HPAI has been reported in humans since 2016, with low to moderate risk, caused by the H5N1, H5N6, H7N9, and H9N2 viruses. Furthermore, the virus was detected in several mammals other than humans, such as wolves and sea lions.

“To prevent the spread of the HPAI virus between farms, strict biosecurity is needed. Furthermore, biosecurity needs to be supported by a vaccination program to break the chain of virus transmission,” he concluded at the end of the presentation. (km)