Avian influenza (AI) is a disease of concern for the poultry industry. In its highly pathogenic form, AI viruses (AIVs) can cause a high morbidity and case fatality rate as well as severe economic consequences. Low pathogenic AIVs (LPAIVs), in contrast, only cause localized infections in the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts of affected birds. Although there is apparently sufficient scientific evidence documenting the absence of LPAIV in poultry meat, several countries still place restrictions for international trade of poultry meat on LPAIV-infected countries. These restrictions are extremely trade disruptive and entail significant losses to the poultry industry. This article presents a quantitative approach to assess the probability of LPAIV presence in chicken meat and provides a model that can be tailored to reflect the epidemiology of LPAIV and surveillance systems in different countries. Results show that the probability of introducing LPAIV through chicken meat imports is insignificant.
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Vol. 51 • No. s1