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Article Released Sun-25th-September-2005 21:52 GMT
Contact: Dr Sharifah Syed Hassan Institution: Veterinary Research Institute
 Avian Influenza: Managing Risk and Responses in Malaysia

In August 2004, the first HPAI virus was isolated in the state of Kelantan, Malaysia. From that time to July 2005, 35 HPAI viruses were isolated from at least 12 localities from this state.

Avian Influenza: Managing Risk and Responses in Malaysia

Author S.H. Sharifah, Suriani M.N., Hassuzana, K., Omar, A.R. and Aini, I.
Veterinary Research Institute, 59, Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah, 31400, Ipoh, Perak.

Published in the Proceedings of the 17th Veterinary Association Malaysia Congress, 27-30 July 2005, Mines Resort City Kuala Lumpur, pp 199-200.

In August 2004, the first HPAI virus was isolated in the state of Kelantan, Malaysia. From that time to July 2005, 35 HPAI viruses were isolated from at least 12 localities from this state. The pathogenicities of the isolated viruses were determined by cleavage site sequencing and intravenous IVPI index.

Nine viruses were from village ducks and 26 others were from village chickens. These viruses have been characterised and found to belong to genotype Z i.e. similar to the most recent H5N1 isolates of Thailand and Vietnam.

Besides others, the M gene contains Asn (31) a mutation associated with amantadine resistance, also as in most recent H5N1 viruses from Thailand and Vietnam.

The Malaysian viruses have been predicted to have affinity for avian rather than human cell receptors. One marker identified that can differentiate between HPAI infecting humans and those that do not, lies in the PB2 gene. The HPAI infecting humans in Thailand and Vietnam have been reported to have a Lys (627) on the PB2 gene. The Malaysian viruses, however, possessed Glu (^27) on the PB2 gene.

Effective risk management tools and measures exist in Malaysia to control the outbreaks of HPAI that occurred in Malaysia in 2004. The management measures include culling of infected and exposed or in-contact poultry, active surveillance or poultry within the 20 km radius of the focus of infection and continuous visual surveillance for signs of disease and mortalities in the field in poultry and pigs.

The report by Malaysia of infection with H5N1 brought the total number of countries infected with an H5N1 to ten.With increasing reports of HPAI infecting humans in Thailand and Vietnam, the possibility and risk of these viruses entering Malaysia via smuggled infected poultry, migratory and wild birds and infected humans are therefore very high. This paper discusses the risk management of measures involving virus entry into the country, vaccination strategies, capabilities and capacities of Malaysian laboratories.

Meeting information

Proceedings of the 17th Veterinary Association Malaysia Congress, 27-30 July 2005, Mines Resort City Kuala Lumpur, pp 199-200.

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