- The "random mutation explanation
of pandemic or seasonal flu evolution is almost dead. The recent Canadian
swine sequences leave little doubt that almost all rapid genetic change
in influenza is driven by recombination.
- Earlier comments described recombination
in PB2 and PA genes of the swine isolates. However, the recombination
is in all eight gene segments and in all seven swine isolates. Isolates
from the mid-nineties or earlier with exact matches in the recent swine
isolates include A/Fukushima/114/96(H3N2), A/Swine/Tennessee/24/77(H1N1),
A/Swine/Tennessee/26/77(H1N1), A/Swine/St-Hyacinthe/106/91(H1N1), A/WI/4754/94(H1N1),
A/WI/4755/94(H1N1), A/Swine/Wisconsin/3523/88(H1N1), A/Swine/Iowa/930/01(H1N2).
- These data show that recombination is
very common and the size of the earlier regions get smaller because of
further recombinations within recombinants. The data leaves little room
for random mutations.
- Similarly, recent isolates of the Qinghai
H5N1 bird flu strains show single nucleotide polymorphisms overlaid on
the Qinghai background. Virtually all of these polymorphisms are well
represented in the sequence database and can be found in other H5N1 on
migratory bird pathways.
- The data indicate the current explanations
of influenza evolution are fatally flawed, yet they are the basis of repeated
WHO press releases on the looming pandemic.
- A full review of the misconceptions driving
vaccine development is long overdue.
- © 2006 Recombinomics. All rights