- "A top official in Azerbaijan said on Saturday a
family of six people could have contracted bird flu, although it was too
early to be sure.
- The preliminary diagnosis is severe pneumonia but this
is a suspicious case," said Abbas Velibeyev, deputy health minister,
on ATV television.
- When asked if the family, which keeps chickens and has
seen two children die in the last month."
- The description above appears to be another familial
H5N1 infection with human-to-human transmission. Two children have
already died and four other family members are hospitalized. The
location of this outbreak relative to large clusters in Turkey and Iraq
suggests the clusters are linked to S227N.
- S227N was noted in the index case of the Turkey outbreak.
Although it was said to be missing from the isolate from the sister of
the index case, it is unclear if the isolate was from mammalian cells or
chicken eggs. Chicken eggs are known to select against polymorphisms which
increase the affinity for human receptors, which ahs been shown for S227N.
- This cluster in Azerbaijan suggests S227N is spreading
in the area. Although it has been over two months since the outbreak
in Turkey was reported. WHO and consultants are hoarding the sequences
from this outbreak.
- The release of these sequences should be immediate.
- The hoarding of sequences by the WHO should not be tolerated.
They have indicated that H5N1 is evolving by random mutations and genetic
changes cannot be predicted. The S227N change via recombination was
predicted. There is more than one way to interpret the data that
WHO and consultants are hoarding.
- These sequences should be released to the scientific
community. Most of the collection of samples, and isolation and sequencing
of H5N1 was done with public funds and the data should be immediately released
to the public.
- © 2006 Recombinomics. All rights reserved.