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Economic, epidemiological, and social analyses of H7N9 influenza control strategies for yellow broilers in Guangxi, China

Tang, HaoORCID: 0000-0002-3932-4016 (2021) Economic, epidemiological, and social analyses of H7N9 influenza control strategies for yellow broilers in Guangxi, China. PhD thesis, Murdoch University.

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The emergence of H7N9 influenza and its zoonotic transmission in China since March 2013 highlighted the continued threat from emerging avian influenza with pandemic potential. A series of policies and interventions were implemented nationwide; however, critical reviews of the effectiveness of these control strategies are lacking. This research conducted in Guangxi, a province with a significant yellow broiler industry, was designed to provide economic, epidemiological, and social evidence to inform future H7N9 control strategies in China.

A value chain study was conducted to examine the yellow broiler production and trading system in Guangxi. Stakeholders of the yellow broiler industry, their interactions, governance structure and risk practices were investigated. Yellow broiler grower companies were the dominant stakeholders. Trading platforms were key premises, linking farms and live bird markets, to be included in H7N9 influenza control programs. Poor biosecurity practices present in different premises along the value chain, pose significant challenges for the control of H7N9 influenza.

Spatio-temporal patterns of the movement of live broilers within and from Guangxi were also assessed. The most central broiler populations in the movement network were identified. The results showed that targeting areas based on movement characteristics would enable controlling H7N9 influenza more effectively compared to applying the same policy throughout Guangxi.

The yellow broiler industry stakeholders’ practices, attitudes and motivations regarding H7N9 vaccination were investigated using a mixed-methods design. There was a strong willingness for the industry to continue vaccination even without government support.

The economic values of the H7N9 vaccination program were also assessed using a benefit-cost analysis. It demonstrated that the current vaccination program was economically profitable compared to not vaccinating. However, the economic returns of vaccination relied heavily on industry profits.

In summary, these research findings can help strengthen the control of H7N9 influenza in Guangxi and provide support for future avian influenza control strategies throughout China.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Veterinary Medicine
Supervisor(s): Bruce, Mieghan, Edwards, John, Robertson, Ian, Huang, Baoxu and Cai, Chang
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