Animal Diseases TT

About the Research


Image of Pelicans at Waterloo Trinidad

Viruses affecting birds in Trinidad and Tobago

In this project we aim to identify key viruses of wild birds and poultry in T&T. This country is home to over 450 species of wild birds across unique habitats and locations. There are both local and migratory species, the latter which either flee North America in colder months to bask in the Caribbean warmth, or even come inquisitively from South America. There are also many breeding colonies of wild birds, especially on the small islands off the coast of Trinidad and Tobago. Little Tobago Island, situated off the North-East coast of Tobago, has one of the largest Red-billed Tropic-bird populations in the world, making it a highly susceptible colony. There are also many other unique colonies of the Scarlet Ibis, Brown Boobies, varieties of Gulls and more throughout Trinidad and Tobago. 

The poultry industry in Trinidad and Tobago is one of the largest in the Caribbean territories and is an important income earner for the agriculture sector. Currently, little is known about the viruses that affect the poultry industry, limiting the implementation of appropriate interventions, such as vaccination.

The amount and diversity of wild bird populations, including the large quantities of migratory species, in combination with a thriving poultry industry, reiterates the need to improve the current levels of surveillance and diagnostic capacities / capabilities within Trinidad and Tobago.

Viruses affecting pigs in Trinidad & Tobago

In this project we aim to identify key viruses affecting pig production in T&T with the aim of improving agricultural productivity, food security and the livelihoods of pig farmers. This is being done through conducting surveillance for significant pig viruses in order to improve our understanding of  the risks posed by these viruses to the swine population of T&T.

Currently the pig industry of T&T comprises of a few large pig farms and over 300 small scale farms that provide local pork meat. Though the industry is small it is also vulnerable and there is a need for improved farm surveillance.

Which viruses are being targeted for surveillance in this project?

Animal welfare, agricultural productivity, food security, and the livelihoods of farming communities in T&T and the wider Caribbean region are directly threatened by outbreaks of various viruses.For avian species and swine a selection of viruses have been identified through discussions with stakeholders in the relevant sectors, according to their veterinary and public health implications within T&T. Little is known about the circulation and the risks posed, by these viruses, and the ideal farm and wildlife management practices that should be put in place to reduce infection and transmission within the livestock, wildlife and human populations of T&T.

The viruses

Poultry/ Wild birds

  • Infectious Bursal Disease Virus
  • Infectious Bronchitis Virus
  • Infectious Laryngotracheitis Virus
  • Avian Pneumovirus
  • Egg Drop Syndrome- Adenovirus Group 3
  • Inclusion body Hepatitis Virus- Adenovirus Group 1
  • Newcastle Disease Virus
  • Avian Influenza Virus


  • Swine Influenza Virus
  • Porcine Parvovirus
  • Transmissible Gastroenteritis Virus
  • Porcine Respiratory Coronavirus
  • Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus