live bird markets

two scientists in masks taking samples in a bird market setting

Researchers from the National Institute of Veterinary Research (NIVR), Vietnam, collected biological samples from chickens in 49 sites, including live bird markets, poultry slaughterhouses and chicken farms, in three northern provinces of Vietnam: Bac Giang, Hai Duong and Hanoi. This image shows sampling at a slaughter point near a live bird market in Hanoi.

A core Hub activity

Biological sampling is a core One Health Poultry Hub activity as researchers investigate the transmission and evolutionary dynamics of the avian influenza virus, foodborne pathogens and antimicrobial resistance in the poultry production and distribution networks. This image was taken during sampling in Soc Son district, Hanoi city.

COVID-19 challenges

chickens by a shed

Sampling was conducted monthly from March to December 2021, but was disrupted in May, June, August and September as social distancing rules were implemented during the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Vietnam. This image was taken during fieldwork in Bac Giang province, northern Vietnam, following a long period of lockdown.

Resilience of researchers

Researchers need to be dynamic, meticulous and resilient. They carried out interviews, collected samples and undertook laboratory work, often travelling long distances, dealing with hazardous biological materials such as the avian influenza virus and coronavirus, and working at all times of day and night. This picture shows early morning at a market in Soc Son district, Hanoi city, one of the team’s sampling sites.

Capacity building


sampling team in PPI in front of a building

Despite the hardships associated with fieldwork, this has been a valuable experience for the six-strong team of NIVR investigators. They have benefited from exchanging experiences with One Health, microbiology, and veterinary experts from around the world as well as gaining a better understanding of the challenges poultry farmers and traders face, including in the current pandemic conditions. This is a picture of five members of the NIVR sampling team and a farm owner.

All images: Hoang Thi Thuy, NIVR