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Rapid H1N1 Evolution
in Beijing Raises Concerns
Similar analysis for other genes showed the the Beijing sequences were closely related to each other, but the newly acquired polymorphisms traced back to H1N1 in a number of geographic locations.
However, most striking were the three HA sequences which had a clustering of polymorphisms flanking the HA cleavage site. Several of these polymorphisms were non-synonymous and signaled rapid evolution of the HA gene.
Two of the non-synonymous polymorphisms (S131P and A337T) were in all three isolates (A/Beijing/718/2009. A/Beijing/720/2009, A/Beijing/721/2009). Three were in 720 and 721 (T314P, L322M, S327F). One was in 718 and 720 (S330Y). Unique changes were in 718 (A319T), 720 (L5R), 721 (T320S, G342E, Y354F).
The large number of changes, and the combinations of shared polymorphisms, suggest significant recombination and rapid evolution, which may be heralding a new wave.
Full sequences on all eight isolates would be useful, as would more timely release of sequences from other countries.