Meteorological factors affecting the risk of transmission of HPAI in Miyazaki, Japan

08 Sep 2019

Arikawa, G., Fujii, Y., Abe, M., Mai, N. T., Mitoma, S., Notsu, K., Nguyen, H. T., Elhanafy, E., Daous, H. E., Kabali, E., Norimine, J., Sekiguchi, S.

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Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) outbreaks engender a severe economic impact on the poultry industry and public health. Migratory waterfowl are considered the natural hosts of HPAI virus, and HPAI viruses are known to be transmitted over long distances during seasonal bird migration. Bird migration is greatly affected by the weather. Many studies have shown the relationship between either autumn or spring bird migration and climate. However, few studies have shown the relationship between annual bird migration and annual weather. This study aimed to establish a model for the number of migratory waterfowl involved in HPAI virus transmission based on meteorological data. From 136 species of waterfowl that were observed at Futatsudate in Miyazaki, Japan, from 2008 to 2016, we selected potential high-risk species that could introduce the HPAI virus into Miyazaki and defined them as ‘risky birds’. We also performed cluster analysis to select meteorological factors. We then analysed the meteorological data and the total number of risky birds using a generalised linear mixed model. We selected 10 species as risky birds: Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), Northern pintail (Anas acuta), Eurasian wigeon (Anas penelope), Eurasian teal (Anas crecca), Common pochard (Aythya ferina), Eurasian coot (Fulica atra), Northern shoveler (Anas clypeata), Common shelduck (Tadorna tadorna), Tufted duck (Aythya fuligula) and Herring gull (Larus argentatus). We succeeded in clustering 35 meteorological factors into four clusters and identified three meteorological factors associated with their migration: (1) the average daily maximum temperature; (2) the mean value of global solar radiation and (3) the maximum daily precipitation. We thus demonstrated the relationship between the number of risky birds and meteorological data. The dynamics of migratory waterfowl was relevant to the risk of an HPAI outbreak, and our data could contribute to cost and time savings in strengthening preventive measures against epidemics.