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Swine H5 Antibodies Found in Karo Indonesia

Recombinomics Commentary

May 18, 2006

Ten of 11 pigs in the district where the infected people lived were found to have avian flu antibodies in their blood, Apriantono told reporters in Jakarta today.

The presence of antibodies is an indication of an existing or previous infection. Antibodies were also found in chickens and ducks by a national laboratory in Bogor, and confirmatory tests on the animal samples are underway, Apriantono said.

The detection of H5 antibodies in swine in Karo, Indonesia is cause for concern.  The lone human H5N1 from Indonesia has a novel HA cleavage site and a report has indicated that many human sequences from Indonesia have this sequence, implying infections were not from poultry. A source for the H5N1 that killed six family members in Karo has yet to be identified.

Novel HA cleavage sites have been found in H5N1 swine in China, and finding RESRRKKR in swine in Indonesia would not be surprised.  Such sequences may already be in the private WHO database since H5N1 swine sequences, were generated from Indonesian pigs over a year ago.

These sequences should be released immediately.

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