Emerging Zoonotic Influenza A Virus Detection in Myanmar: Surveillance Practices and Findings.Health Secur. 2017 Sep/Oct; 15(5):483-493.HS
We describe 2-season, risk-based, virological surveillance for zoonotic avian influenza in Myanmar and report the first detection of influenza A subtypes H5N6 and H9N2 in Myanmar. The study focused mainly on the live bird markets in border townships, where illegal poultry importation from China usually takes place. The objective was to enhance early warning for low pathogenic avian influenza A(H7N9) incursion. The study followed the guidelines of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations for influenza A(H7N9) surveillance in uninfected countries. The sampling strategy was risk-based at all sampling levels. Sample collection and laboratory analysis were carried out with the government of the Union of the Republic of Myanmar. Laboratory testing was according to a previously published FAO laboratory protocol and algorithm designed to detect a range of influenza A subtypes. Challenges to implementation are outlined. The study provided evidence that the H7N9 subtype had not entered Myanmar but detected other subtypes, including H5N6 and H9N2. Although there were logistical difficulties associated with nation-related issues, the results highlight the importance and feasibility of this risk-based active surveillance, which should be urgently established in other countries, especially those located at the east-southeast influenza epicenter.