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H5N1 Detected in Cat in Germany

Recombinomics Commentary

February 28, 2006

The H5N1 strain of bird flu has been confirmed in a cat in Germany, the first time it has been positively identified in the country in an animal other than a bird, a national laboratory said today.

The cat was found on the northern island of Ruegen.

The finding of H5N1 in a cat in Germany is not a surprise.  H5N1 was isolated from wild cats in zoos in Thailand.  These cats had been fed raw H5N1 positive chickens.  Similarly, H5N1 has been isolated from a naturally infected cat in Thailand (
A/cat/Thailand/KU-02/04(H5N1)).  Cat to cat transmission was also found in the zoo setting as well as experimentally infected cats.

However, finding H5N1 in a cat in Europe will certain focus the attention of H5N1 in pets and potential transmission to humans.

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