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H5N1 and Ebola Recombinants in Qinghai and Sichuan

Recombinomics Commentary

August 2, 2005

The spread of H5N1 along Russia's southern border and the increased toll in Sichuan province form the mysterious pig disease, demand more transparency from China who claims to have never had a human case of H5N1 and a fatal pig disease due to a relatively benign bacterium.

Boxun reports indicate that China has several strains of H5N1 and Ebola capable of causing human disease.  Although sequence data for the early Qinghai isolates were published, China has failed to share samples from live birds or bird flu isolates beyond the 12 collected in May.  Similarly, samples from Sichuan appear to be lacking.  Sichuan is adjacent to Qinghai, suggesting a possible linkage.

Boxun reports also describe an industrial accident and use of the wrong treatment as part of the problem in Sichuan.  The are also rumors of problems caused by an adenovirus vectored hog cholera vaccine.  There many be several viruses involved, including an Ebola recombinant.

Thus, there clearly appear to be too many viruses in the area that could recombine and create a new entity.  Ebola and H5N1 share a region in common that could allow for recombination between the two viruses.  Having Ebola and H5N1 co-circulating creates a potentially volatile situate.  This situation could be exacerbated by an adenovirus vectored vaccine because adenovirus also has homology to this region, as does African swine fever virus.

Thus, the boxun report describing recombinants could be referring to many different combinations including Ebola and H5N1 or either one plus adenovirus linked of hog cholera virus.

To resolve these issues, samples must be provided.  China has created a genetically unstable environment. 

Denials of human H5N1 infections or creation of new bacterial diseases are not acceptable.

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