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H5 Confirmed In Dead Ducks In Kerala India - H5N8 Likely
Recombinomics Commentary
November 25, 2014 03:30

The confirmation of H5 in the waterfowl in Kerala, India (see map)  increases the likelihood that these birds will be infected with H5N8 that matches the sequences from outbreaks in Germany, Netherlands, and England (A/turkey/Germany-MV/R2472/2014, A/Ch/Netherlands/14015526, A/duck/England/36254/14) in Europe was well as Japan (A/duck/Chiba/26-372-48/2014 and A/duck/Chiba/26-372-61/2014).  The five sets of sequences are from collections in November and are virtually identical, supporting spread by migrating birds.  Wild birds in Japan (Tundra swans) and Germany (common Teal) have been PCR confirmed, and the Teal has been sequence confirmed (partial H5 and N8 sequences exactly match the turkey sequences in Germany).

The presence of H5N8 in India would increase the similarities between H5N8 spread in 2014 and H5N1 spread in 2005/2006.  Although initial reports in late 2005 were largely limited to eastern Europe, the number of confirmed H5N1 dramatically increased in early 2006 after H5N1 as confirmed in cases in Turkey.  Cases were subsequently confirmed in humans in Azerbaijan, Iraq, Egypt, and Nigeria, while poultry outbreaks were confirmed in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa as well as south Asia, including India.

The parallels with 2005/2006 strongly suggests that the H5 in India will be H5N8 and this novel sub-clade will found in additional countries in Europe, the Middles East, Africa, and south Asia in upcoming weeks or months.

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