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H5N1 Wild Bird Flu in Altai Republic in Russia?

Recombinomics Commentary

August 24, 2005

In the republic the Altai is for the first time discovered the bird influenza
Bird influenza is revealed in the killed wild duck in the republic the Altai. As they reported on 24 August in the press- service of republic government, the specialists of Novosibirsk inter-regional veterinary laboratory revealed virus, where on 13 August were delivered the tests of pathologic material from the wild duck, shot down in top -Karaguj Mayminskiy's village the region of republic. In the test is revealed the genetic material of the virus of an influenza of the type "A".

The machine translation of the above report suggests H5N1 wild bird flu may have begun to fly out of Russia and back into China.  The influenza A was from a flying wild duck and has not yet been reported to be H5N1.  Other influenza A serotypes have been isolated from southern Siberia in the past, although most such deposits at GenBank are from Primorie, which is at the southeastern corner of Russia.

If the influenza A is H5N1, it would be the first report in the Republic of Altai, which borders Kazakhstan, China, and Mongolia (see map)  If H5N1 is isolated, it would answer the recent commentary in PromMed regarding isolation of H5N1 Z genotype in asymptomatic wild birdsAll 16 isolates from Qinghai Lake were H5N1 Z genotype, although all were collected from dead birds.

Isolation of H5N1 during necropsy is easier than detecting H5N1 in feces.  As noted in the August 9 OIE report from Novosibirsk, PCR detection of H5N1 was in pooled organs from dead birds.  The pooling of multiple organs increases the likelihood of detection of H5N1 sequences.  .


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