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H5N1 Bird Flu Migrates to Eastern Kazakhstan

Recombinomics Commentary

August 6, 2005

Eastern- Kazakhstan region, Borodulikhinskiy region, s. Red steep bank. 04.08.2005 into 09.30 min. from The department CHS of region it entered communication about those registered the cases of the loss of poultry (hens) in by the 7th personal economies in a quantity of 364 heads, preliminary diagnosis "is highly pathogenic bird influenza. Pasteurellosis ". For laboratory diagnostics they are selected the materials, which are sent in GU "national the center of monitoring, reference, laboratory diagnostics and the methodologies of veterinary science ",

The above machine translation from the Kazakhstan Emergency web site indicates that H5N1 has migrated into Eastern Kazakhstan,  This was not unexpected because in June China reported H5N1 in Tacheng, which borders Kazakhstan and is about 30 miles south of Eastern Kazakhstan.  The migratory bird associated with the Tacheng outbreak in China's Xinjiang region probably continued north to the Chany Lake region, where there were additional deaths of poulty in several farms to the east, west, and south of Chany Lake.  H5N1 was also responsible for those poultry deaths.

Eastern Kazahkstan is where 15 people were hospitalized after eating chicken cutlets at a dining hall.  A report updating their status has not been made public. 

The detection of dead birds in Eastern Kazakhstan parallels similar findings in southern Russia suggesting that the outbreaks in Russia's southern regions will be mirrored by corresponding outbreaks in northern regions of Kazakhstan.

Sequencing of H5N1 isolates in Novosibirsk indicates the H5N1 is derived from Asia but somewhat different than the isolates from Vietnam.  This description matches the sequences from Qinghai Lake and suggests migratory birds are spreading this version of H5N1 in Russia, Kazakhstan, and Mongolia.

The rapid spread of H5N1 in Asia is cause for concern because the Qinghai Lake version has 18-25 amino acid differences in HA and NA proteins when compared to the 2004 version from Vietnam which is being used to make a pandemic vaccine.  This vaccine is unlikely to be effective against the 2005 Qinghai version because of the large number of amino acids in the two proteins genetically engineered into the pandemic vaccine strain.  Vaccines against the 2004 pandemic strain from Vietnam are being developed worldwide.

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