Read about what we are doing to combat Coronavirus COVID‑19
Coronavirus COVID‑19
Irish government covid-19 public health information graphic

How ECA can combat Avian Influenza

Sanitise your farm, maintain safe drinking water for your flock and properly sanitise workwear and PPE with Unison’s Neutral Anolyte ECA Disinfectant for Avian Influenza (Bird Flu).

What is Avian Influenza?

Avian Influenza (AI) or Bird flu is a type of virus that affects several species of birds such as chickens, turkeys, geese, guinea fowl and wild birds. There are many strains of AI viruses that can be classified into two categories: low pathogenic (LPAI) that causes little or no clinical signs in birds and highly pathogenic (HPAI) that can cause severe clinical signs and/or mortality in birds

What is the source of the disease and how does it spread?

Wild birds are known as reservoirs for AI viruses and can carry the viruses in their respiratory or intestinal tracts and usually do not get sick.

AI viruses can be spread through direct contact with secretions from infected birds, especially faeces or through contaminated feed, water, equipment and clothing. AI viruses are also readily transmitted from farm to farm by the movement of domestic live birds, people (shoes and clothing), contaminated vehicles, equipment, feed and cages.

What can be done to prevent the disease from entering the farm?

For poultry keepers, strict biosecurity measures need to be observed to prevent introduction of the virus to the flock. Biosecurity measures that are recommended at farm level include:

  • Keeping poultry away from wetlands and areas frequented by wild birds.
  • Farmers must not provide food, water or shelter on properties that may attract wild birds.
  • Controlling people access and equipment to poultry houses.
  • Maintaining sanitation of property, poultry houses and equipment.
  • Avoiding the introduction of birds of unknown disease status into flocks.
  • Reporting illness and death of birds to state veterinarians for immediate investigation.
  • Disposal of manure and dead poultry in a safe way.

How can the Unison Anolyte assist in preventing the disease from entering the farm?

A proper sanitation programme needs to be followed as part of the prevention strategy of the farm. This should be coupled with good biosecurity practices as per above. Proper sanitation and biosecurity cannot be over emphasized; they are the first line of defence against AI. All methods for preventing and controlling the spread of AI are related to controlling the contamination of equipment and personnel.

The Unison ECA Anolyte disinfectant can be used to sanitise the following areas on the farm to prevent the disease from entering the flocks:

  • Dosing the Anolyte into the drinking water of the birds
  • Treating the bulk water supply to the birds with Anolyte (dosing to drinking water)
  • Having a disinfection station at the entrance of the farm to disinfect trucks, people and equipment entering the farm.
  • Disinfecting the bird cages/crates used for transport
  • Spraying the Anolyte into the bird houses/barns
  • Disinfecting workers clothes with Anolyte
  • Disinfecting workers boots with Anolyte – at a boot washing station
  • Disinfecting the floors, walls and surfaces of the bird houses.
  • Disinfecting all equipment that is in contact with birds or that come into the farm from the outside.

Once the disease is on farm, how do I use the Anolyte disinfectant?

Once the disease is diagnosed on the farm, the use of the ECA Anolyte disinfectant is geared towards the prevention of spreading the disease to other farms. The focus should be on the decontamination and disinfection of personnel and anything that has been in contact with the infected birds. This includes all areas mentioned above in point 4 above.

Is Anolyte effective against Avian Influenza?

AI is very sensitive to most detergents and disinfectants. In general, on the basis of their resistance to chemical agents, viruses can be divided into three categories (A, B and C) according to the presence/absence of lipids on the virus particle and the size of virus. Avian influenza viruses belong to category A, which are the easiest to deactivate and can be deactivated by all of the major classes of disinfectants, if used properly including pH, concentration, temperature ,organic matter and time of exposure.

Lab studies and field studies conducted through the University of Cairo in Egypt revealed that the Anolyte disinfectant at 4mg/l was very effective in completely destroying the H5N1 virus after 10 minutes of exposure at 25°C. It was also shown that the Anolyte was the most efficient for the complete deactivation of high pathogenic avian influenza virus in comparison to other disinfectants used.

In animal husbandry, there is a significant requirement for disinfectant as there are a lot of factors such as high organic soiling even after proper cleaning, different materials with often porous surfaces. Low temperatures and short contact times can negatively influence its efficacy.