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Malaysia H5N1 Recombinant Between Wild Cat Bird Flu

Recombinomics Commentary

July 12, 2005

A partial sequence of the NA gene from an isolate in Malaysia,
A/chicken/Malaysia/01/2004(H5N1), has been put on deposit at GenBank.  The sequence is most closely related to sequences from a leopard and tiger  isolated in early 2004 in Thailand as well as a series of tiger isolates from the Sri Rahka tiger zoo, near the first outbreak.  The outbreak at the tiger zoo was in August, which is when Malaysia reported an H5N1 bird flu outbreak in the state of Kelantan, which is a state in northern Malaysia and adjacent to Thailand.

The sequence at GenBank is a recombinant between the two sets of wild cat sequences.  The only sequence at Genbank is the partial NA sequences.  Several of the tiger sequences at Genbank contain the PB2 E627K mutation found in all isolates from Qinghai Lake as well as brain passaged mouse isolates from Hong Kong and Shandong. The Shandong isolate was from duck meat imported into Japan.

The Malaysia sequence indicates demonstrates a wider distribution of 2004 sequences that give rise to E627K variants.  However, the detection of the polymorphism in all eight isolates from Qingahi Lake suggests the polymorphism in H5N1 isolates may now be much more widespread.

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