- "Dead birds were found late yesterday
and early today on Danish islands Lolland, Falster and Zealand and were
sent for testing, Danish television TV2 Oest said. Ruegen is located less
than 100 kilometers (62 miles) off the Danish island Bornholm and the southern
- Poland will test the bodies of three
dead swans found in the northern part of the country for bird flu, press
agency PAP reported. The examination of the birds found in Krynica Morska,
a Polish city on the Baltic coast, will be concluded tomorrow, the newswire
said, citing Anna Dyksinska of the Gdansk regional veterinary office."
- The above comments suggest the H5N1
confirmed in northern Germany along the Baltic coast will also be confirmed
in Demark and northern Poland (see map). These swan deaths are also
close to Sweden. Other countries on the southern shore of the Baltic sea
include Russia, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia,
- These locations are markedly north of
the outbreaks being reported in European countries near the Mediterranean
Sea, but both locations raise the possibility of H5N1 migration form birds
using the East Atlantic Flyway in the fall to migrate south to western
- Reports from Russia in August suggest
that H5N1 infections were not limited to southern Siberia, but included
regions to the north as well. The Mission report from Russia descried
two dozen species that were H5N1 positive, suggesting that migration from
Russia covered most of Europe. However, in the fall western Europe
denied H5N1 infections, which are now being reported almost hourly throughout
Europe, including confirmation six EU members (Greece, Italy, Slovenia,
Austria, Germany, Hungary).
- H5N1 in this region is cause for concern.
In 2003 there was a major outbreak of H7N7 in The Netherlands, and H5N7
reassortants have been described in Denmark. H5 from migratory birds
also has sequences from Sweden, so recombination between H5 and H7 sero-types
- Serological studies indicated H7N7 efficiently
infected humans, leading to concerns of H5N1 acquire H7 sequences leading
to more efficient infections of humans. The H5N1 detected in swans
in the region will soon be reinforced by H5N1 out of Africa, since H5N1
in Nigeria is suspected of migrating into the East Atlantic Flyway.
- As H5N1 expands its geographical reach,
new opportunities for recombination emerge, and recombinations that lead
to acquisition of polymorphisms such as S227N which increase the affinity
of H5N1 for human receptors is cause for concern.
- © 2006 Recombinomics. All