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ISSN : 2287-7991(Print)
ISSN : 2287-8009(Online)
Journal of the Preventive Veterinary Medicine Vol.43 No.4 pp.146-151

Survivability of avian influenza virus in soil and effectiveness of burial disposal method for AIV-infected carcasses in South Korea

Son Hai Vu1,Lauren Togonon Arayan1,Tran Xuan Ngoc Huy1,Alisha Wehdnesday Bernardo Reyes1,Hong Hee Chang1,Dong Seob Tark2,Suk Kim1†
1Institute of Animal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, Gyeongsang National University, Jinju 52828, Republic of Korea
2Korea Zoonosis Research Institute, Chonbuk National University, Iksan 54531, Republic of Korea
Corresponding Author. Suk Kim, Tel: +82-55-772-2359, Fax: +82-55-772-2349, E-mail:


To attenuate and control the spread of infectious disease, a body of research has been conducted to generate safe vaccines and to continue national-level surveillance. However, understanding on viability and persistence of avian influenza virus (AIV) in infected carcasses, and effective disposal approaches are still limited up to date. Here, using HA test and RT-PCR, we assessed active status of AIV and degradation of viral RNA in collected specimens at different sites and time points. First, AIV infectivity was recovered until day 2, and viral nucleic acids persisted to day 14 and 21 in inorganic and organic samples, respectively, in sealed vials incubated at room temperature. Second, AIV was totally inactivated in all examined specimens, and viral RNA was not detectable at all time points tested at least one month post-infection in AIV-inoculated carcasses buried directly in soil or fiber reinforced plastic (FRP) bin. Lastly, among different burial sites in South Korea, 6 out of 17 sampling sites in Jeonbuk province showed the presence of viral genetic materials, while the rest of the field samples displayed neither the presence of infective AIV nor detectable viral RNA. This study showed a linear relation between time and degradation degree of viral RNA in buried samples suggesting that burial disposal method is effective for the control or at least attenuation of spread of AI infection in infected animals although consistent monitoring is required to verify safety of disposal.