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G228S Donor Sequences in H1N1 Swine in Spain  

Recombinomics Commentary

March 16, 2006

Several H1N1 sequences from European swine (A/Swine/Spain/45304/2003, A/Swine/Spain/50047/2003, A/Swine/Spain/51915/2003, A/Swine/Spain/53207/2004) have been placed on deposit at Genbank.  These sequences update the repository for H1N1 European swine sequences.  These sequences were of interest because they contain donor sequences for the formation of G228S in H5N1 HA via recombination.

Earlier analysis identified these sequences in European swine, but the most recent sequence was 2001.  Analysis of the first available 2003 sequence indicates it too has the donor sequence, suggesting these sequences will be present in all four isolates.

These data extend the donor sequences into Spain and suggest that donor sequences are currently circulating in European swine.

As H5N1 bird flu migrates into new areas, new opportunities for recombination develop.  Afghanistan has reported H9 and H5N1 co-circulation, which could give rise to S227N

Like Europe, the current database for H9N2 in Afghanistan is lacking.  Addition of new 2006 sequences will increase the usefulness of the sequence database for predicting new recombinations and generation of new polymorphisms in the receptor binding domains such as S227N and G228S.

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