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D225N In Chihuahua H1N1 In Ecuador Confirmed

Recombinomics Commentary 22:20
May 7, 2011

The Air Force presentation at the 2011/2012 vaccine advisory committee meeting is available at the FDA website.  Slide 11 has a phylogenetic tree with recent isolates, including 4 HA sequences from Ecuador.  All four match the Chihuahua sub-clade, including the rare polymorphisms K149N, which is in the isolates from Mexico as well as eight isolates from the United States.  Three of the sequences (A/Ecuador/IEC00012/2010, A/Ecuador/IEC00027/2010, A/Ecuador/IEC00032/2010) were collected in December, 2010, while the fourth sequence, A/Ecuador/IEC00043/2011, was collected in January, 2011 matching the date for the WHO 2011 pandemic warning of H1N1 in Ecuador in January, 2011. 

Moreover, one of the four sequences, A/Ecuador/IEC00012/2010, also has D225N, confirming the “anecdotal” reports indicating the Chihuahua sub-clade with D225N in severe and fatal cases was circulating in South America (as well as Mexico and the United States).  The presence of D225N in one of the four sequence once again highlights the high frequency of detection in severe and fatal cases, which is a considerable concern because it is detected in the upper respiratory tract and is likely present at a higher frequency in samples collected from the lower respiratory tract.

These data confirm the focus of the WHO pandemic alert which is the growing presence of the novel Chihuahua sub-clade with D225N.

Release of the additional sequences from Mexico with D225N, as well as sequences from severe and fatal cases in countries cited in the WHO pandemic alert would be useful.

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