Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Business Affiliation Could Increase Potential Risk of Farm-to-Farm Transmission of Avian Influenza

30.03.2010
A new study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health examines the potential influence that the business connections between broiler chicken growers may have on the transmission of avian influenza, H5N1.

According to the study, the risk of between-farm transmission is significantly greater among farms within the same company group than it is between farms with different company affiliation. The study is among the first to analyze the impact of company affiliation on the spread of diseases from farm to farm and it appears in the March 26 edition of PLoS One.

In 2007, U.S. growers produced more than 9 billion broiler chickens, according to a Department of Agriculture census. The poultry industry is vertically integrated with poultry companies contracting with growers to produce chickens for slaughter. These broiler chickens are grown in confined housing with defined feed in order to produce uniform and reliable meat.

“Our analysis indicates that company affiliation is a major driver of farm-based exposure risk to an infection like avian influenza in regions with high-density food animal production. Farms within the same integrator group as an infected farm may face as much as a five-fold increase in exposure risk compared to farms affiliated with a different group,” said Jessica Leibler, a doctoral candidate in the Bloomberg School’s Sommer Scholars program.

For the study, the Johns Hopkins researchers conducted a nationwide survey of broiler poultry growers to gather information on business practices and determine who visited the farm and how often. Typical contacts included farm workers, feed distributors, waste handlers and social contacts. The data from the survey were used to develop a model to approximate the nature and frequency of contact patterns among poultry farmers. The researchers used the model to analyze how an outbreak of H5N1 at a single farm on the Delaware-Maryland peninsula might spread through the poultry farm-dense region.

Overall, the study found company affiliation to be the greatest driver of farm-to-farm disease transmission risk. In the analysis, employment of part-time workers also contributed to significant increases in risk in most scenarios, most notably for farms that hired day laborers. Social visits to farms were significantly less of a factor in determining risk.

“H5N1 has never been detected in the U.S., but the absence of the disease does not in and of itself prove that current biosecurity measures have been effective,” added Leibler. “Low pathogenic avian influenza is detected frequently in U.S. poultry.”

“The economic structure of the poultry industry, specifically integrator-level groups and business practices, may be critically important in estimating the risk of outbreak in areas dominated by industrial-scale animal production,” said Ellen Silbergeld, PhD, senior author of study and a professor in the Bloomberg School’s Department of Environmental Health Sciences. “Models that focus solely on distance among farms as the primary risk factor for disease transmission may not capture the full dynamics of disease spread in settings where production is dominated by vertically integrated industrial food animal production methods.”

The research was funded by the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future and the Sommer Scholars program at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Marco Carone, a doctoral candidate in the Bloomberg School’s Department of Biostatistics also contributed to the article “Contribution of Company Affiliation and Social Contacts to Risk Estimates of Between-Farm Transmission of Avian Influenza.”

Public Affairs media contact for JHSPH: Tim Parsons at 410-955-7619 or tmparson@jhsph.edu

Tim Parsons | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.jhsph.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht First form of therapy for childhood dementia CLN2 developed
25.04.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf

nachricht Do microplastics harbour additional risks by colonization with harmful bacteria?
05.04.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Why we need erasable MRI scans

New technology could allow an MRI contrast agent to 'blink off,' helping doctors diagnose disease

Magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, is a widely used medical tool for taking pictures of the insides of our body. One way to make MRI scans easier to read is...

Im Focus: BAM@Hannover Messe: innovative 3D printing method for space flight

At the Hannover Messe 2018, the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und-prüfung (BAM) will show how, in the future, astronauts could produce their own tools or spare parts in zero gravity using 3D printing. This will reduce, weight and transport costs for space missions. Visitors can experience the innovative additive manufacturing process live at the fair.

Powder-based additive manufacturing in zero gravity is the name of the project in which a component is produced by applying metallic powder layers and then...

Im Focus: Molecules Brilliantly Illuminated

Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.

Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Why we need erasable MRI scans

26.04.2018 | Medical Engineering

Balancing nuclear and renewable energy

26.04.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Researchers 3-D print electronics and cells directly on skin

26.04.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>