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Lab Confirmed H5N2 Increases To 8 Sites In Fraser Valley
Recombinomics Commentary
December 10, 2014 23:45

The CFIA held another media update today which described the further spread of lab confirmed H5N2 in Frazer Valley to a total of eight sites.  The first new site was the second barn on the 60,000 turkey farm in Aldergrove (see map).  Although the two barns are owned by brothers (as cited in 2009), they are separate entities with different confirmation dates.  The first barn was included in the December 9 OIE update.  The other two sites are smaller broiler breeder farms near the first turkey farm, which is on Number 5 Road in Abbottsford.

Thus there are two distinct restriction zones. The larger zone includes six farms stretching from the turkey farm on the southwest to the Chilliwack farm to the northeast, while the second zone is centered on the two barns in Aldergrove.

The number of sites has increased in spite restrictions of movement of poultry.  Two of the earlier farms were linked to the farm in Chilliwack, but there has been no cited linkage between the farm in Aldergrove and those in the second zone, or between the entities `1, 2, 7, and 8 in the second zone.

The temporal and geographic locations suggest that the increase in cases is linked to wild birds.

This origin is also supported by the fact that all outbreaks are due to high path H5 with no indication of recent low path infections.  The pathogenicity index cited in the OIE update is in the range of Asian HPAI which is currently dominated by Fujian clade 2.3.4, which has generated a broad array of sero-types including H5N1, H5N2, H5N5, H5N6, and H5N8.  The H5 in these cases has a polybasic cleavage site of RERRRKR or REKRRKR, which has never been reported in North America.

Although the December 9 OIE report cited the sequence detection of a polybasic cleavage site, the actual sequence was withheld. It would almost certainly would match the Fujian cleavage site, which would confirm the first reported outbreak of Fujian H5  in North America.  Similarly, the CFIA cited sequence data for the H5 and N2 in initial outbreaks, which were generated on December 4.  Thus, the withholding of this critical information on a novel highly pathogenic H5 for more than 24 hours after lab confirmation violates the UN IHR.

The sequence data would also address the issue of multiple introductions, which is supported by the spread in confirmation dates.
CFIA should release these sequences immediately.

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