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H5N1 Wild Bird Flu in Talapker Kazakhstan Targets Mediterranean

Recombinomics Commentary

August 16, 2005

"In the village of Talapker, the North Kazakhstan Region, over one hundred geese, hens and ducks died on August 8-15. Laboratory tests identified avian influenza," the territorial department of Kazakhstan's Ministry of Agriculture told Itar-Tass.

The country's chief sanitary doctor, Asylbek Kozhmuratov said earlier cases of massive poultry death occurred in a number of villages in the Pavlodar, Karaganda, Akmola and North Kazakhstan regions.

The H5N1 wild bird flu in Talapker extends the leading edge of reported outbreaks in northern Kakhzstan / Southern Siberia further east and south toward the Caspian and Black seas.

The path is clearly marked with reports of outbreaks (see map) and defines a pathway that may go  across the Mediterranean into northern Africa.  The migratory bird pathways intersect and most of the wild birds are waterfowl, but H5N1 infections may involve many species.  Some of these birds appear to be asymptomatic, but the deaths of some wild birds and domestic birds create clear migratory paths.

The H5N1 is closley related to the H5N1 sequences from Qinghai Lake in China and the pandemic vaccine under development worldwide is not likely to be effective againsthe wild bird H5N1.  However, the isolates at Qinghai Lake had a wild type M2 ion channel, and such isolates should be sensitive to antivirals amantadine and rimantandine.


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