Martin W

    Oh dear, just had a read of Anatidae migration and h5n1 paper; authors inc Joseph Domenech and Juan Lubroth of FAO. Looks to be based on various barely founded assumptions.

    Why haven’t they also strongly considered the flyways in east Asia, say?
    – where patterns don’t follow migration routes. [Here I am in Hong Kong; evidence here powerfully against ducks being major carriers H5N1)

    A few quotes:

    Invariably, wild birds found to be infected with the virus were either dead or moribund and may not have been able to spread the virus over long distances. Furthermore, in several cases, no straightforward match was found between the appearance of the virus and the presence of the wild birds suspected of spreading it. For example, HPAI H5N1 virus outbreaks that took place in Russia and Kazakhstan during summer 2005 were distributed along important trade routes

    The search for wild bird species carrying HPAI H5N1 virus is in progress and awaits further classification.

    The broad approach adopted in this study has clear limitations

    Sad people amongst authors, with a strong and clear bias towards poultry industry (Joseph Domenech is there, I see: long a cheerleader for blaming wild birds for spread, avoiding notions it’s really the poultry trade to blame).

    There’s little about how it’s not efficient for ducks to spread via oral tracts – no notion that wild avian flus spread thro faeces as they have evolved to transmit thro most efficient mechanisms.

    Only scant coverage of trade routes, as much discussed here on aiwatch. The situation in east Asia just skated over.

    Appalling. (Tho for those involved in the poultry industry gravy train, must be considered a boost after an autumn of – so far – zero transmission by wild birds. New Sci and its poultry magazines publishing publisher will surely like it!)

    Anatidae Migration in the Western Palearctic and Spread of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza H5N1 Virus