GCRF One Health Poultry Hub

Lead Research Organisation: Royal Veterinary College
Department Name: Pathobiology and Population Sciences


Urbanisation, accompanied by rising incomes, continues to lead increased demands for animal protein. Poultry meat and eggs are the biggest global source of protein for humans and a major challenge is to achieve sustainable expansion whilst reducing risk to health from 1) Epidemic Avian Influenza, 2) antimicrobial resistance, 3) foodborne zoonoses including Campylobacter, Salmonella and E. coli 4) Disruption of the natural chicken gut microbiome, leading to increased pathogen carriage.

The research directly addresses UN Sustainable Development Goals 1 (No Poverty), 2 (Zero hunger) and 3 (Good health and well-being), and contributes also to 5 (Gender Equality) 6 (Clean water and sanitation), 9 (Industry, innovation and infrastructure), 11 (Sustainable cities and communities), and 12 (Responsible consumption and production)

In South and SE Asia, poultry production is expanding rapidly and value chains are more diverse than in high-income settings. Intensification, in informal and organised poultry sectors, aims to produce cheap protein for families and for local, national and regional markets but it can also promote the generation of health hazards. High stocking densities, fast turnover, genetic homogeneity, complex transport and trading networks, live bird markets, poor biosecurity and inappropriate use of antimicrobials and vaccines all play roles in host-pathogen evolution and in selection of pathogen variants with increased virulence, vaccine and/or antimicrobial resistance and broadened host range.

Through an iterative approach we will (1) establish specific causal connections between socio-economics, human behaviours, pathogen evolution and disease transmission, (2) identify 'nodes' of particularly high risk in poultry production chains and networks, and (3) test and evaluate interventions .

Significant reductions in risk to human and animal health require holistic interventions (technical, behavioural and regulatory) designed for, and implemented across, all levels of production systems. By studying poultry value chains in four countries at differing stages of intensification (Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka and Vietnam), we will achieve a deep and generalizable understanding of production factors that increase risk, including those that govern decision-making and behaviours along value chains. Using innovative methods that enhance existing microbiological, epidemiological and social science, we will contribute research-based evidence to support policies and systems that can meet anticipated demand whilst minimising adverse public health consequences. This includes designing interventions in well-characterised systems, evaluating their impacts, and generating research-informed models for resilient management of transition from lower to higher intensity systems. To ensure global relevance, we include settings that vary in their levels of intensification, as well as their epidemiological, socio-economic and cultural contexts. With an integrated vision, the Hub has a portfolio of scalable research and the capacity to play a strategic role in an innovative global agenda.

We will explicitly build capacity for the interdisciplinary research that is essential for a Hub, and for supporting cross-sectorial collaborations at national and regional levels. Without effective stewardship by governments and transnational agencies and a greater understanding of the global political economy of chicken production, we hypothesise that the risk of deleterious outcomes of intensification will increase as poultry production continues to scale up dramatically and demand increased inputs, such as processed feed and antibiotics.

Planned Impact

Our Hub's outputs are intended to benefit the following stakeholders:

- Multilaterals and funders: e.g. FAO, WHO, OIE, World Bank, Asian Development Bank
- National policy audience: e.g. government ministries and departments of health, agriculture, and development; non-government agencies
- Private sector actors: e.g. pharmaceutical, poultry breeding, and poultry exporting companies
- Practitioner and civil society organisations: e.g. farmer cooperatives, veterinarians, consumer groups
- Academic audiences

How might they benefit from this research?

Multilaterals and funders, and national policy makers will be incorporated in the Hub's National Advisory Groups where they will receive updates on research and stakeholder engagement activities on a regular basis. The Hub will communicate policy briefs in consultation with the National Advisory Groups where researchers communicate up-to-date and relevant information in the current international policy making landscape. In addition, Hub researchers will disseminate outputs at international platforms such as multi-stakeholder meetings hosted by the Hub as well as participating in One Health conferences. The Hub will also convene high-level policy fora at national and regional levels, benefitting from the huge experience in this area from FAO, IDS and Chatham House who are in the Hub team.

Private sector actors will directly engage with Hub activities through opportunities to support the Flexible Fund. The Fund will be used to strengthen local capacity through research training mobility schemes, further exploitation data generated in the research, and partnership grants. By directly engaging with private sector actors in shaping training, knowledge, and partnership, the Hub will be feed its research outputs into challenges and opportunities in the private sector and influence their behaviours to improve poultry production and trade. Doing so also contributes to establishing national, regional, and international networks of researchers, policy makers and private sector actors as outlined in our Theory of Change.

The Hub's Impact, Communication and Engagement (ICE) strategies will make extensive use of social media and digital communication platforms to reach practitioner and civil society organisations. This will be built into already-existing networks established and engaged by in-country partners. For example, TANUVAS has experiences in utilising WhatsApp group chats and YouTube channels to reach thousands of farmers in disseminating research findings about livestock management techniques in Tamil Nadu, India. The Hub will adopt these innovative approaches that are proven successful in the study sites and also facilitate co-learning across multiple sites where the Hub will conduct research and engagement activities. These best practices will be featured on the Hub's website and shared in its newsletters and blog series to reach a wider audience across the world. The Hub will benefit from the outreach of IDS based communication platforms (e.g. STEPS Centre) with more than 3,000 subscribers.

The Hub will benefit the academic audience in multiple ways. As interdisciplinary working is core to the Hub's activities, participating researchers will have the opportunity to engage in research beyond their own disciplines through meetings and workshops organised by the Hub. The Hub's research outputs will be published in peer-reviewed journals across natural and social sciences, and will be presented at workshops and conferences in social, veterinary, and biological sciences. Finally, the Hub conference in the final year will pool all findings from the five years of research in all scientific fields, attracting academic professionals working in One Health across the world.



Fiona Tomley (Principal Investigator)
Ayona Silva-Fletcher (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0003-3885-2172
Ngoc Pham (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0001-7397-615X
Dilan Amila Satharasinghe (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0003-4657-9591
Ayako Ebata (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0001-8131-2759
Patricia Lynne Conway (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0003-1763-0773
Sitara Swarna Rao Ajjampur (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0003-3419-6577
KIRUBAHARAN JOHN JOHN (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0003-0999-2387
Gerald Bloom (Co-Investigator)
Dinh Ton Vu (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0002-7907-5456
Hoa Thi Thanh Pham (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0001-6500-1248
Guillaume FourniƩ (Co-Investigator)
Poornika Kumari Seelagama (Co-Investigator)
Ian Brown (Co-Investigator)
Marisa Peyre (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0002-0887-3418
Ruwani Sagarika Kalupahana (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0003-3557-3346
Richard Andrew Stabler (Co-Investigator)
Thi Dien Nguyen (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0002-4956-8532
Mahesh Moorthy (Co-Investigator)
Palika Shanthi Fernando (Co-Investigator)
Barbara Nicole Haesler (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0001-6073-9526
Paritosh Kumar Biswas (Co-Investigator)
Punam Mangtani (Co-Investigator)
David Lowell Heymann (Co-Investigator)
Joerg Henning (Co-Investigator)
Gowthaman Vasudevan (Co-Investigator)
Chaitanya Joshi (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0002-1298-8488
Brendan Wren (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0002-6140-9489
Kumaravel P (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0002-5937-5988
Madhvi N Joshi (Co-Investigator)
Androniki Psifidi (Co-Investigator)
Raman Muthusamy (Co-Investigator)
Nicola Lewis (Co-Investigator)
MOHAMMED ABDUS SAMAD (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0001-7329-7325
Anthony Spencer Barnett (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0001-9399-9607
Damer Blake (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0003-1077-2306
Mohammad Giasuddin (Co-Investigator)
Dai Nguyen Van (Co-Investigator)
Hayley Nan MacGregor (Co-Investigator)
Ludovic Pelligand (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0001-6005-1975
Rajib Dasgupta (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0003-0609-9796
Dirk Udo Pfeiffer (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0001-7000-0530
Oliver Pybus (Co-Investigator)
Giel Ton (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0003-1730-9517
Deepthi Madura Sri Munasinghe (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0002-5858-2184
Prakash Koringa (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0002-7709-4231
Nitish Chandra Debnath (Co-Investigator)
Vuong Nghia Bui (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0001-5499-9305
Marius Gilbert (Co-Investigator)
Md. Ahasanul Hoque (Co-Investigator)
Meerjady Sabrina Flora (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0001-5172-1295
Munir Iqbal (Co-Investigator)
Sunetra Gupta (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0002-9775-4006
Duc Anh Dang (Co-Investigator)
Shantha Wanninayake (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0002-6445-6985


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