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H5N1 Chicken Sequence From Nigeria

Recombinomics Commentary

February 24, 2006

The HA from a chicken in Nigeria, A/chicken/Nigeria/641/2006(H5N1) has been placed on deposit at GenBank.  It is 1669 BP and matches the Qinghai sequence in all but six positions.  Four of these positions are shared with the Kurgan sequence, A/chicken/Kurgan/3/2005(H5N1).  The other two are shared with the Mongolian sequences or Hunan sequences.

Thus, the Nigerian sequences are closely related to the Qinghai strain and took a northern path before migrating to Nigeria.  Italy is to be commended for quickly making this important sequence available.  These sequences can be used to trace the migratory paths of the H5N1 isolates and full sequences on all eight genes would be helpful.

The large number of H5N1 sequences from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa should allow for tracing migratory routes of the various versions of the Qinghai strain, which will be important for determining where H5N1 is migrating and what new recombinations are likely.


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