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H5N1 Bird Flu Confirmed in Shenzen Guangdong Case

Recombinomics Commentary

June 12, 2006

The victim was identified as a 31-year-old man surnamed Jiang, who was listed in critical condition last night.

He began complaining of fever, coughing and back pain on June 3 and was admitted to Shenzhen People's Hospital last Friday, according to authorities in the Guangdong Province city in China's south.

The Shenzhen Center for Disease Control said Jiang tested positive for the deadly H5N1 strain of the virus. The Guangdong provincial health bureau then reported the case to the Ministry of Health for verification.

The patient was transferred to the city's Donghu Hospital yesterday for advanced treatment after his body temperature measured 40 degrees Celsius.

The above comments indicate an H5N1positive case has been identified in Guangdong Province.  In the past several versions of H5N1 have been identified in Guangdong Province, but the human cases in China have been linked to the Fujian strain. This strain is quite widespread in China and neighboring countries.  Recent H5N1 isolates from Laos and Malaysia were closely related to the Fujian strain.  Presentations at last months FAO meeting on H5N1 and migratory waterfowl included a report on H5N1 in Europe.  Included was a phylogenetic tree which showed that the H5N1 detect in birds quarantines in England were also closely related to duck/Fujian/1734/05 as seen in the phylogenetic tree used in the presentation,

The Fujian strain has a novel HA cleavage site, RERRRKR, so verification of the Fujian strain should be straightforward.  An additional presentation on H5N1 in Qinghai Lake showed that the Qinghai strain was isolated from outbreaks to the north in Inner Mongolia and Liaoning provinces and well as recent H5N1 outbreaks in southern Qinghai province and northern Tibet.  It seems likely that the recent Xinjiang outbreak is also linked to the Qinghai strain as more birds migrate to southern Russia where the Qinghai strain is widespread.

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