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Table 2 The APEIR completed projects

From: Ecohealth research in Southeast Asia: past, present and the way forward

APEIR sub-project Research issues Research method Findings (where applicable)
Migratory birds & AI network What is the role of birds in spreading AI? Documentary reviews; Wild birds capture and identification; and Cloacal/tracheal swabs, serology sampling GIS, satellite tracking. It is not clear whether the wild birds are the source of poultry infection; major wild bird migration routes along the central Asia flyway overlap with areas that have experienced avian influenza outbreaks in poultry in Tibet.
What are the AI viruses in wild birds?
What species of birds are infected?
Socio-economic impacts of AI How households’ livelihood and wellbeing are affected by AI and AI control measures. Cross-country comparisons of household level data; Structured-interviews/ group discussions; and ST social, economic issues related to AI control. The backyard poultry sector is resistant to shock but the small-scale commercial sector is vulnerable.
Farmers considered the compensation rate for culling of poultry during the HPAI outbreak to be inadequate – discouraged farmers to apply control measures and not hide/sell their infected poultry.
Backyard poultry systems & AI What are characteristics & dynamics of BP systems? Mixed methods: farmer interviews, direct observation, focus group discussions (FGDs); Design and test models; and Cross-country comparisons. Data on the characteristics and economics of smallholder and backyard producers provided valuable information for policy makers.
What are the marketing networks? Biosecurity is generally quite low in both smallholder and larger commercial farms.
What are some effective/feasible ways to reduce AI risk?
How can these be tested in practice?
Policy analysis What are antiviral drug and poultry vaccination policies? Documentary search; Stakeholder analysis; Semi-structured interviews; A series of meetings with key informants to explore issues in policy formulation and sequence of events surrounding them); and Cross-country comparisons. Scientific evidence plays a role in related discussions, but national economic interest is important.
What are the contextual factors influencing/the process and development of policies? Technical information on use of vaccination of poultry for H5N1 HPAI was interpreted differently in Thailand as compared to Vietnam and Indonesia, resulting in different conclusions on its utility.
What are differences and similarities in policy/context/process among the three countries?
Effectiveness of AI control measures What measures have been recommended & implemented? Literature reviews to prioritise CMs FGDs and observation; Risk assessment & estimate effect of control measures(CMs) on risk; Province in-depth case studies; Cross-country comparisons; and Farms & districts as systems. Control of highly pathogenic avian influenza was achieved, despite poorly implemented control measures.
How have these been implemented? Vaccination in Vietnam and China did not prevent all cases of infection, but played a role in reducing disease levels.
What is impact on risk reduction?
Poultry vaccination has reduced the occurrence of outbreaks in Vietnam and China, but it may be masking virus presence.
Reliance on mass vaccination is leading to neglect of other measures.
Poultry Production Clusters (PPCs) What is impact of these PPCs on the socio-economic status of the producers? Survey on impacts of PPCs (PRA case study, FGDs, interview, observation), pilot intervention in PPCs; Dissemination and advocacy; and Look at impact on all related aspects. Poultry Production Clusters (PPCs) have developed industrial production of poultry, improved farms’ economic efficiency and controlled diseases.
What changes in attitudes, behaviours and relations among various stakeholder groups induced by the development of PPCs? Evidence of economies of the scope for PPCs in terms of access to feed at lower cost and more stable output price. Farms benefit from social changes in PPCs through better information sharing and cooperative activities in feed use, disease control and infrastructure development.
  What are Ecohealth pilot interventions to improve the livelihoods of small producers?  
    Poultry inside PPCs are less likely to get infected with diseases.
Small-Scale Poultry Slaughter Houses What is the hygienic status in small-scale poultry slaughterhouses and their effects on ecological and health in the community? Interviews, FGDs; Observation; Collecting the sample from slaughterhouse (SH)/laboratory test systems: SH, traders, retailed, people living around the SH. High prevalence of Salmonella contamination of carcasses in the poor hygienic conditions of the small-scale poultry slaughter houses.
Serotyping revealed the presence of S. enteritidis and S. typhimurium, which were potentially food poisoning microorganisms, and presumably contaminated from poultry flora due to slaughtering performance.
Water source and waste appeared to be the most important factors correlating to the Salmonella contamination.