Non-Attenuation Of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza H5N1 By Laboratory Exposure To Ultraviolet Rays

FO Fasina, AN Egbuji, DA Gado, DC Nyam, AK Olawuyi, CA Meseko, AT Oladokun, HG Ularamu, S Ponman, I Nwagbo



Avian influenza H5N1 represents one of the most researched viruses in laboratories world-wide in recent times with regards to its epidemiology, ecology, biology and geography. The virus has caused 409 human cases and 256 human fatalities to date. Some laboratory activities and other lab related
works predispose certain workers to exposure to this virus. In this work, we assessed the effect of exposure of HPAI infective allantoic fluid to ultraviolet rays for between 15 and 180 minutes. No significant difference was found between the unexposed and exposed viruses. The ability of the virus to haemagglutinate chicken red blood cells, the haemagglutination titre and its pathogenicity in embryonating eggs did not change despite this prolong exposure to UV-light. We call for caution in the handling of HPAI viruses in laboratory inside the microbiological safety cabinet despite sterilization using UV-light.