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H5N1 Suspected in Over 8000 French Farm Turkey Deaths

Recombinomics Commentary

February 23, 2006

The Farms Ministry said a high mortality rate among turkeys was discovered at the farm, which has more than 11,000 birds and is situated in the department of Ain, where two cases of the disease have already been confirmed in wild ducks.

Local sources said around 80 percent of the birds at the farm, which is in a region famous for the quality of its chickens, had already died. Test results are due on Friday.

The above comments indicate almost 9000 turkeys have already died on the farm in France.  The farm is near Ain, where an H5N1 infected wild duck had been reported. It is likely that the turkeys will also be H5N1 positive.

These data suggest that the H5N1 in Europe can readily inflect significant casualties in domestic poultry.  The H5N1 has been wildly report in dead swans, but H5N1 has been previously identified in a wide rage of species, including domestic poultry.

These data suggest that migration of more H5N1 into western Europe via the East Atlantic Flyway will pose a serious threat for livestock on farms.

Although there has been an alert for poultry, potential recombination with H1N1 in domestic swine has not been discussed. Such dual infections can lead to the acquisition if G228S, which would likely lead to more efficient human infections and transmissions.

The movement of H5N1 onto farms in France, and the lack of warnings on H5N1 infections of swine in Europe, are causes for concern.


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