Epidemiology and clinicopathological manifestation of resurgent highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (H5N1) virus in Nigeria, 2015

  • O. B. Akanbi
  • C. A. Meseko
  • C. I. Odita
  • I. Shittu
  • A.G. Rimfa
  • D. Ugbe
  • L. Pam
  • D.A. Gado
  • K.A. Olawuyi
  • S.B. Mohammed
  • I.I. Kyauta
  • N. O. Bankole
  • W. Ndahi
  • T.M. Joannis
  • M.S. Ahmed
  • P.A. Okewole
  • D. Shamaki
Keywords: Epidemiology, Resurgent HPAI H5N1, Pathology, Nigeria.


In January, 2015 the National Veterinary Research Institute, Vom, Nigeria received some chicken carcasses from the Kano state Ministry of Agriculture. The carcasses were from a backyard-commercial poultry farm and a live bird market (LBM) in Kauna and Sabon gari, Kano state, northwestern Nigeria respectively. The farm kept  different types of chickens of various ages and stages and was experiencing high mortality of 350 birds daily with eventual 100% mortality observed in the older birds (54weeks). In a concurrent incidence, reports were received of unusual high mortality of birds brought from the northern part of the country at two LBMs in  Onipanu and Mushin, Lagos state, southwestern Nigeria. A total of 8 chicken  carcasses from the Kano suspicion were subjected to postmortem examination and testing. One broiler-chicken (4weeks old), 4 layer-chicken (22 weeks old) and 3 indigenous bred-chickens (from LBM) showed severe pathological lesions  consistent with highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). Moribund birds from the Lagos suspicion had cyanotic comb and wattles, torticollis and paralysis of the limbs. Parenchymatous organs, nasal and trachea swabs were collected from the dead and moribund birds respectively. The specimens were analyzed by RT-PCR and virus isolation in embryonating chicken eggs. All samples were found to be positive for HPAI (H5N1) subtype. This marks the re-introduction of HPAI (H5N1) subtype into Nigeria for a second time in the space of 9-years. So far, over 542 cases (January to December, 2015) have been confirmed positive for HPAI (H5N1) in 20 states of the country. Possible circumstances surrounding the resurgent and spread are discussed herein.

Key words: Epidemiology, Resurgent HPAI H5N1, Pathology, Nigeria.


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eISSN: 0331-3026