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H5N1 Wild Bird Flu Migration to Chelyabinsk Russia Confirmed

Recombinomics Commentary

August 15, 2005

virus was discovered in the fallen bird in the village October of the October region of region, which was located on the southeast of region and borders on Kazakhstan. Three reservoirs are found on the territory of village - this, and also the proximity of village to Kazakhstan, where the cases of bird influenza are registered, and it served as the reason for the appearance of the focus of disease in the South Urals.

The machine translation of the above comments confirms last week's report of suspect H5N1 wild bird flu in the October region of Chelyabinsk province.  As noted above this region is in the southeast corner of the province, near the border with Kazakhstan and the Siberian province to the east, Kurgan (see map).  Chelybinsk is at the eastern base of the Ural Mountains, which separate Asia from Europe.  This report also moves the outbreak southward along the base of the mountains and brings the confirmed cases to with 500 miles of the Caspian Sea. 

The movement of the H5N1 wild bird flu to the west and south will bring H5N1 to more densely populated areas.  As the weather in the north turns colder, migration to the south and west will intensify. 

Although Russia and Hungary have announced plans to initiate clinical trials on a pandemic vaccine, this vaccine was made against a 2004 H5N1 isolate from Vietnam and has a large number of amino acid differences in both HA and NA proteins, when compared to the wild bird flu H5N1 isolated from Qinghai Lake or Novosibirsk.

The are no reports of a program targeting the wild bird H5N1 spreading toward Europe to the south and west and also spreading toward southern Asia, including India and Vietnam.


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