Tel.+49 30 838 62676 Fax.+49 30 838 62690
Highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAIV) of subtype H5N1 causes a devastating disease in poultry but when it accidentally infects humans it can cause death. Therefore, decrease the incidence of H5N1 in humans needs to focus on prevention and control of poultry infections. Conventional control strategies in poultry based on surveillance, stamping out, movement restriction and enforcement of biosecurity measures did not prevent the virus spreading, particularly in developing countries. Several challenges limit efficiency of the vaccines to prevent outbreaks of HPAIV H5N1 in endemic countries. Alternative and complementary approaches to reduce the current burden of H5N1 epidemics in poultry should be encouraged. The use of antiviral chemotherapy and natural compounds, avian-cytokines, RNA interference, genetic breeding and/or development of transgenic poultry warrant further evaluation as integrated intervention strategies for control of HPAIV H5N1 in poultry.