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Canada Index Fujian H5N2 Matches Crane In Japan
Recombinomics Commentary
January 23, 2015 20:15

The Canada Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has released a full set of Fujian clade H5N2 sequences, A/turkey/BC/FAV10/2014, from the index farm for the British Columbia outbreak.  The sample was collected December 2, 2014 and the sequences matched H5N8 sequences for five of the gene segments (PB2, PA, H5, MP, NS), while the other three gene segments (PB1, NP, N2) matched North American wild bird sequences. 

However, the Eurasian sequences were not most closely related to the H5N8 circulating in Europe, which were closely related to an earlier sequence from northeast Russia,
A/wigeon/Sakha/1/2014, as well as a subset of initial sequences from Japan, but instead were linked to a white-naped crane sequence, A/crane/Kagoshima/KU1/2014 , from Japan.The uniqueness of this sequence as well as a poultry sequence,  A/chicken/Miyazaki/7/2014, indicated the H5N8 sequences in Europe and Asia represented multiple sub-clades, which extended to North America

The USDA noted the most closely related sequences to initial isolates in Washington, which included an H5N2 sequence, A/Northern pintail/Washington/40964/2014.  The H5 sequence was most closely related to A/bean goose/Korea/H40/2014, while the N2 was most closely related to A/American green-winged teal/California/HKWF609/2007.  However, the H5 and N8 sequences from A/turkey/BC/FAV10/2014 were distinct from the pintail, even though collections were 6 days and 15 miles apart.

The differences between the first H5N2 cases in Canada and United States are clear.  The Korean H5 sequence most closely related to A/turkey/BC/FAV10/2014 is A/Baikal teal/Korea/H96/2014, while A/bean goose/Korea/H40/2014 is most closely related to A/Northern pintail/Washington/40964/2014.  The differences in the N2 are more dramatic.  The US sequence is most closely related to A/American green-winged teal/California/HKWF609/2007, which forms a sub-clade with A/Northern shoveler/California/8855/2008 and A/avian/Missouri/466554-4/2006, while the Canadian sequence is most closely related to A/American green-winged teal/Wisconsin/10OS3127/2010, which forms a sub-clade with A/Northern shoveler/California/3769/2012 and A/Bufflehead/California/4935/2012.In addition to sub-clade / lineage differences,

Fujian clade has been reported as three different serotypes in Washington (H5N1, H5N2, H5N8).  Both H5N1 and H5N2 are ressortants between H5N8 and North American wild birds gene segments, but these two reassortants also differ in internal genes.  Initial remarks from CFIA indicated the H5N2 in Canada had 5 H5N8 gene segments and 3 North American wild bird segments (PB1, NP, N2).  H5N1 has 4 North American wild bird segments, but the relationship with internal genes with H5N2 is complex.  Both have PB1 but H5N2 has NP, which is not in H5N1.  Instead the additional North American segments are PA and NS.

However, more combinations may emerge based on the complexity in Taiwan, which has a major Fujian clade outbreak involving three serotypes (H5N2, H5N3, H5N8).  The constellation in H5N2 has bene described in media reports as having 3 H5N8 gene segments (H5, MP, NS) with 5 segments from wild birds in Eurasia (that are distinct from the internal genes in H5N8).

The only common genes in the various serotypes in North America and Taiwan are H5 and MP, which may be driving the reassortment which will likely produce more heterogeneity as more detail is released.

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