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H5N1 Bird Flu Confirmed in Dresden Zoo in Germany

Recombinomics Commentary

August 3, 2006

The animal was positively tested on the aggressive virus H5N1. Thus the illness broke out for the first time after three months again with a game bird.

Dresden - For the first time for scarcely three months in Germany again a case of bird flu was proven with a game bird. A dead swan from a pond in the Dresdener zoo was tested positively on the aggressive virus H5N1, reported the Saxonian Ministry of Health on Thursday evening in Dresden.

The above translation indicates H5N1 bird flu has been detected in a dead swan at the Dresden Zoo.  This may signal addition migration through the East Atlantic Flyway.

Today the HA sequence of H5N1 from a buzzard from Bavaria, A/common bussard/Bavaria/2/2006,  was released.  It is very similar to a mute swan isolate from the Czech Republic, A/Cygnus olor/Czech Republic/5170/200, as well as a mallard from Italy, A/mallard/Italy/835/2006.  The similarity between these sequences suggested H5N1 is passing readily from species to species in Europe.  Earlier reports of H5N1 from Spain also suggested that the isolate was similar to an isolate from the Czech Republic.  These data suggest local Europe versions of the Qinghai strain may have moved into the East Atlantic Flyway and may now be in North America.

The continued detection of H5N1 in wild birds suggests H5N1 will soon be reported in North America.  An earlier detection of H5 on Prince Edward Island was likely an H5N1 infection, but there was no report on the size of the insert in the positive PCR test and the National Labs in Winnipeg were unable to detect or isolated the H5 that was confirmed on Prince Edward Island.

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