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Suspect Fujian H5N1 Case In Israel
Recombinomics Commentary 22:10
March 8, 2011

Concern that a poultry farmer from Kibbutz Rosh Tzurim in Gush Etzion contracted bird flu. The man was hospitalized a few days at Shaare Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem. The deadly virus was discovered yesterday in one of his kibbutz runs. Blood tests of laboratory testing verbalist transferred, and results are expected tonight.

The above translation describes a suspect H5N1 case associated with an outbreak on a turkey farm, which led to the culling of 40,000 birds.  This outbreak follows reports of H5N1 in poultry in Palestine.

Although H5N1 has been reported previously in Israel and Palestine, the latest outbreak likely involves the Fujian strain (clade 2.3.2), which has been associated with recent wild bird and poultry outbreaks in South Korea and Japan, as well as earlier wild bird outbreaks.  The recent outbreaks in Japan included the receptor binding domain change, S227R  (in addition to M230I).  Tthe first reported human case west of China involved the Qinghai train with the receptor binding domain change S227N, which was predicted.

These earlier reports strongly suggested that the Fujian strain would subsequently be reported in wild birds, poultry, and humans in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. 

If confirmed, this would be the first reported case in Israel, and if clade 2.3.2 is confirmed, this would be the first reported human case west of China.  All prior human cases (in Turkey, Iraq, Azerbaijan, and Egypt) have been the Qinghai strain (clade 2.2).

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