- The four recent whole genome sequences of Henan, China
tree sparrows are cause for concern. The two surface proteins are HPAI
H5N1 and the multibaisc HA cleavage site generates a string selective
advantage that allows for wide distribution of the additional 6 genes.
These genes have many polymorphisms found in H9N2 and H3N2 isolates.
- Many of these polymorphism are in 2003/2004 isolates
from South Korea, indicating the sequences are not limited to the terrestrial
birds in Henan. The genes also have considerable amounts of recombination,
which is why they were not well defined in the Journal of Virology paper.
- These mammalian sequences are of considerable concern,
because they are also appearing as novel sequences in human H3N2 isolates
as well as canine H3N8 isolates.
- As H5N1 wild bird flu sequences come into the area, new
recombinants will be formed and distributed. This may account for the
limited success using animal vaccines to control the outbreaks in eastern
China. Since the Henan isolates do not produce symptoms in ducks, they
may be much more widespread than the tree sparrow population in Henan.
- Avian influenza sequences are clearly recombining and
reassorting at a high rate. The amount of sequence data in Asia has been
limited, especially this year, as the recombination rate appears to be
accelerating in association with increased genetic diversity and an expanded
host range of H5N1.
- Release of more sequence data from isolates linked to
the recent outbreaks in China as well as earlier collections from indigenous
populations of birds worldwide, would be useful
- Henry L. Niman, PhD
- Recombinomics, Inc. Founder and President, Henry L Niman
earned a PhD at the University of Southern California in 1978. His dissertation
focused on feline retroviral expression in tumors in domestic cats.
- He took a postdoctoral position at Scripps Clinic and
Research Foundation where he developed monoclonal antibody technology.
He fused monoclonal antibody and synthetic peptide technologies and
accepted a staff position at Scripps.
- In 1982, he developed the flu monoclonal antibody, which
is widely used throughout the pharmaceutical, biotech, and research industries
in epitope tagging techniques. He also produced a broad panel of monoclonal
antibodies against synthetic peptides of oncogenes and growth factors.
These monoclonal antibodies were distributed worldwide to researchers
by the National Cancer Institute. The antibodies identified novel related
proteins which correlated with clinical parameters.
- This technology was used to form ProgenX, a cancer diagnostic
company that became Ligand Pharmaceuticals. Dr Niman subsequently identified
protein expression patterns at the University of Pittsburgh. More recently,
he became interested in infectious diseases while at Harvard Medical School.
He then founded Recombinomics and discovered how viruses rapidly evolve.
These latest findings are the subject of recent patent filings.
- c. 2005 All Rights Reserved
- Patricia A. Doyle, DVM, PhD Bus Admin, Tropical Agriculture
- Please visit my "Emerging Diseases" message
- Zhan le Devlesa tai sastimasa
- Go with God and in Good Health