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1 Dec 2012

A Serological Survey of Antibodies to H5, H7 and H9 Avian Influenza Viruses amongst the Duck-Related Workers in Beijing, China (PLoS ONE, abstract, edited)

[Source: PLoS ONE, full page: (LINK). Edited.]

A Serological Survey of Antibodies to H5, H7 and H9 Avian Influenza Viruses amongst the Duck-Related Workers in Beijing, China

Peng Yang1, Chunna Ma1, Weixian Shi1, Shujuan Cui1, Guilan Lu1, Xiaomin Peng1, Daitao Zhang1, Yimeng Liu1, Huijie Liang1, Yi Zhang1, Li Zhang1, Holly Seale2, Quanyi Wang1*

1 Institute for Infectious Disease and Endemic Disease Control, Beijing Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), Beijing, China, 2 School of Public Health and Community Medicine, UNSW Medicine, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia



The continued spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) viruses of H5 and H7 subtypes and low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) viruses of H5, H7 and H9 subtypes in birds and the subsequent infections in humans pose an ongoing pandemic threat. It has been proposed that poultry workers are at higher risk of exposure to HPAI or LPAI viruses and subsequently infection due to their repeated exposure to chickens or domestic waterfowl. The aim of this study was to examine the seroprevalence of antibodies against H5, H7 and H9 viruses amongst duck-related workers in Beijing, China and the risk factors associated with seropositivity. In March, 2011, 1741 participants were recruited from (1) commercial duck-breeding farms; (2) private duck-breeding farms; and (3) duck-slaughtering farms. Local villagers who bred ducks in their backyards were also recruited. A survey was administered by face-to-face interview, and blood samples were collected from subjects for antibody testing against H5, H7 and H9 viruses. We found that none of the subjects were seropositive for either H5 or H7 viruses, and only 0.7% (12/1741) had antibody against H9. A statistically significant difference in H9 antibody seroprevalence existed between the various categories of workers (P = 0.005), with the highest figures recorded amongst the villagers (1.7%). Independent risk factors associated with seropositivity toinfection with H9 virus included less frequent disinfection of worksite (OR, 5.13 [95% CI, 1.07–24.58]; P = 0.041; ≤ twice monthly versus>twice monthly) and handling ducks with wounds on hands (OR, 4.13 [95% CI, 1.26–13.57]; P = 0.019). Whilst the risk of infection with H5, H7 and H9 viruses appears to be low among duck-related workers in Beijing, China, ongoing monitoring of infection with the H9 virus is still warranted, especially amongst villagers who breed backyard ducks to monitor for any changes.


Citation: Yang P, Ma C, Shi W, Cui S, Lu G, et al. (2012) A Serological Survey of Antibodies to H5, H7 and H9 Avian Influenza Viruses amongst the Duck-Related Workers in Beijing, China. PLoS ONE 7(11): e50770. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0050770

Editor: Justin David Brown, University of Georgia, United States of America

Received: August 2, 2012; Accepted: October 24, 2012; Published: November 30, 2012

Copyright: © 2012 Yang et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Funding: This work was supported by the Beijing Nova Program (2011047) of Beijing Science and Technology Commission ( and the National Key Program for Infectious Disease of China (2012ZX10004215-003-001) of Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology ( The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

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