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Qinghai H5N1 Sequences in Israel and Gaza Similar to Egypt
May 10, 2007
Sequences from last season’s outbreaks in Israel and Gaza are being released at Genbank. The HA and NA sequences (see list below), are the Qinghai strain with the consensus HA cleavage site sequence, GERRRKKR. Like prior Qinghai sequences, HA and NA have regional markers and these markers match those seen previously in Egypt and Djibouti.
The sequences are most closely related to the 2006 isolates described previously. The more recent isolates from Egypt are more complex due to further evolution. Although Egypt and Djibouti reported human cases last season, neither Israel nor Palestine reported human cases although Israel reported a suspect case.
Similarly, this season Egypt reported human and poultry cases, yet none of the above countries reported H5N1 outbreaks.
The close similarity between the sequences raises additional questions about reporting H5N1 in humans and poultry in the region.
Sequences at Genbank