Assessment of different surveillance systems for avian influenza in commercial poultry in Catalonia (North-Eastern Spain)

A. Alba, J. Casal, S. Napp, P. A.J. Martin

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16 Citations (Scopus)


Compulsory surveillance programmes for avian influenza (AI) have been implemented in domestic poultry and wild birds in all the European Member States since 2005. The implementation of these programmes is complex and requires a close evaluation. A good indicator to assess their efficacy is the sensitivity (Se) of the surveillance system. In this study, the sensitivities for different sampling designs proposed by the Spanish authorities for the commercial poultry population of Catalonia were assessed, using the scenario tree model methodology. These samplings were stratified throughout the territory of Spain and took into account the species, the types of production and their specific risks. The probabilities of detecting infection at different prevalences at both individual and holding level were estimated. Furthermore, those subpopulations that contributed more to the Se of the system were identified.The model estimated that all the designs met the requirements of the European Commission. The probability of detecting AI circulating in Catalonian poultry did not change significantly when the within-holding design prevalence varied from 30% to 10%. In contrast, when the among-holding design prevalence decreased from 5% to 1%, the probability of detecting AI was drastically reduced. The sampling of duck and goose holdings, and to a lesser extent the sampling of turkey and game bird holdings, increased the Se substantially. The Se of passive surveillance in chickens for highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) and low pathogenicity avian influenza (LPAI) were also assessed. The probability of the infected birds manifesting apparent clinical signs and the awareness of veterinarians and farmers had great influence on the probability of detecting AI. In order to increase the probability of an early detection of HPAI in chicken, the probability of performing AI specific tests when AI is suspected would need to be increased. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-118
JournalPreventive Veterinary Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2010


  • Avian influenza
  • Domestic poultry
  • Scenario tree model
  • Spain
  • Surveillance


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