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H5 Bird Flu Spread in Chany Lake Region of Novosibirsk Russia

Recombinomics Commentary

July 25, 2005

Interfax quotes Sergei Dankvert as saying the initial outbreak was discovered last week in the village of Suzdalka, in the western Siberian region of Novosibirsk.

Now, cases among wild birds have been found in three more districts of Novosibirsk Oblast-- Dovolnoe, Kupino, and Chistozernoe.

Authorities in neighboring Kazakhstan have been informed as the three districts lie close to the Kazakh border.

The above report of bird flu spread to three additional districts in Russia further suggests that the H5 serotype is H5N1 and it is linked to the outbreaks in Qinghai and Xinjiang provinces in China.  Although there have been reports of H5N2 serotype, the H5N1 is more likely the cause of the widespread outbreaks.

The H5N1 isolate at Qinghai Lake was particularly virulent.  In killed experimental chickens in 20 hours and mice in 3-4 days,  The die-off at Qinghai Lake was unprecedented. OIE reports indicated at least 5 species were affected.  The Qingahi outbreak was followed by outbreaks ain domestic geese in Xinjiang province, including Tacheng, which is five miles from the Kazakhstan border.

The outbreaks in Russia are to the east, west, and south of Chany Lake.  Prior isolates from Chany Lake share polymorphisms with the H5N1 from Qingahi increasing the likelihood that the Qinhai Lake infections have spread north 600 miles to the Chany Lake region in Novosibursk and now are causing deaths in several species in the Nature Reserve. 

Sequence have also been found in isolates from Primorie, another nature resrve in southeastern Russia near Japan and South Korea,  H5N1 isolates from Japan and south Korea as well as Europe share polymorphisms with the Qingahi isolates, strongly suggesting that the migration will spread H5N1 through Europe and Asia,

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