Interventions at live poultry markets protect humans — but not birds — from avian influenza viruses and decrease detection rates of the viruses in market environments, according to results from a systematic review and meta-analysis published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases.
“Most strains of avian influenza virus (AIV) do not pose a risk to human health. However, some, such as H7N9 and H5N1, have crossed the species barrier and resulted in human infections,” Hui Jin, PhD, associate professor in the school of public health at Southeast University in Nanjing, China, and colleagues wrote. “Affected countries and the international community have recognized the importance of surveillance and control of the disease because of the potential for a global influenza pandemic caused by AIVs.”
The researchers searched English and Chinese databases for relevant articles on interventions conducted in live poultry markets that were published through Nov. 9, 2018, and identified 19 studies. In all, the studies collected 224 humans, 3,550 poultry and 13,773 environment samples before the intervention, and 181 humans, 4,519 poultry and 9,562 samples from after live poultry market interventions.
Results showed that AIV detection rates in live poultry market environments (OR = 0.393; 95% CI, 0.262-0.589) and the incidence of human avian influenza infection (OR = 0.045; 95% CI, 0.025-0.079) were both significantly lower following market interventions, whereas there was no evidence of interventions being statistically significant in protecting poultry (OR = 0.803; 95% CI, 0.403-1.597).
Interventions like temporarily closing live poultry markets can protect humans from avian influenza viruses.
Findings from two studies indicated that temporary closures and rest days at live poultry markets were protective for preventing AIV infection in people.
“This meta-analysis revealed that [live poultry market] interventions could decrease human infections of AIV and the detection rates of AIV in market environments. However, limitations and bias in the review pose risks to the validity and reliability of the results,” the authors concluded. “[Live poultry market] interventions should be continued to be put into practice to control the prevalence of avian influenza, while further research is needed. Policies should be constructed to ensure a unified criterion for the execution of surveillance studies so as to improve reliability and consistency.” – by Caitlyn Stulpin
Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.