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Wild H5N1 Sequences
November 18, 2004
>>"The fact that there were H5N1 outbreaks throughout this summer in Southeast Asia, which is outside the season for migratory birds to be moving, means it is more likely that the virus is already endemic within the poultry population and it doesn't need wild birds to bring the virus down to southern Asia any more." <<
There seems to be a very basic misunderstanding of how H5N1 evolves. The summer H5N1 isolates are almost exact matches of the isolates from the beginning of the year because the evolution of the virus requires dual infections with distinct isolates. The new season will begin in earnest when migratory birds bring in new sequences which can recombine with sequences endemic to the region from last year.
The new season will bring new sequences, new recombinations, and new challenges.