Economic factors influencing zoonotic disease dynamics: demand for poultry meat and seasonal transmission of avian influenza in Vietnam.
Delabouglise A., Choisy M., Phan TD., Antoine-Moussiaux N., Peyre M., Vu TD., Pfeiffer DU., Fournié G.
While climate is often presented as a key factor influencing the seasonality of diseases, the importance of anthropogenic factors is less commonly evaluated. Using a combination of methods - wavelet analysis, economic analysis, statistical and disease transmission modelling - we aimed to explore the influence of climatic and economic factors on the seasonality of H5N1 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in the domestic poultry population of Vietnam. We found that while climatic variables are associated with seasonal variation in the incidence of avian influenza outbreaks in the North of the country, this is not the case in the Centre and the South. In contrast, temporal patterns of H5N1 incidence are similar across these 3 regions: periods of high H5N1 incidence coincide with Lunar New Year festival, occurring in January-February, in the 3 climatic regions for 5 out of the 8 study years. Yet, daily poultry meat consumption drastically increases during Lunar New Year festival throughout the country. To meet this rise in demand, poultry production and trade are expected to peak around the festival period, promoting viral spread, which we demonstrated using a stochastic disease transmission model. This study illustrates the way in which economic factors may influence the dynamics of livestock pathogens.