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H5N1 Migrates Into East Atlantic Flyway In Lagos
February 10, 2006
Investigations revealed that no fewer than 200 birds have so far died in Lagos state markets in the last few days with the highest recorded only last Monday where about 70 birds were reported to have died in Ojuwoye market in Mushin area of the state.
Daily Trust learnt that the traders might have decided not to make any official report because of fears that their wares may be seized by officials of the state's ministry of health.
The above comments strongly suggest that the H5N1 in northern Nigeria has spread to its southern coastal city of Lagos (see map). The spread to the coast would move H5N1 into the East Atlantic Flyway, which is used by migratory birds in Western Europe and North America. Infection of these birds with H5N1 would allow for migration to these new areas in the spring. Movement of H5N1 into these areas allows for new recombinations.
The Qinghai strain of H5N1 already has sequences from European swine from western Europe, which would have been picked up early by LPAI. Thus, the sequences indicate these birds have exchanged flu virus information in the past, so more recombination is expected. S227N appeared in Turkey, which can be created by recombining H5N1 Qinghai sequences with H9N2 that is endemic in domestic poultry in the Middle East.
H5N1 in the East Atlantic Flyway would set the stage for more interaction with European swine and acquisition of additional polymorphisms.
As H5N1 moves into new areas, new opportunities for recombination are presented. H5N1 has never been reported in Western Europe or North America. New sequences bring new problems.