Saturday, November 12, 2011

Bird flu appearing in Nghe An

Bird flu appearing in Nghe An
13/11/2011 06:08

 (HNM) - The Veterinary Department (MARD), after a time the country control the bird flu, so far, this translates to a risk of flare up again and occurred in 11 households Xuan Quynh, Quynh Luu district, Nghe An province.

The total number of infected poultry is 1,803 children (including 1,644 ducks, 111 chickens and 48 swans). Currently, the Veterinary Department of Nghe An province is working with local authorities implement measures to prevent and combat service as prescribed to prevent the spread of a large scale

Global efforts against flu evolving in the face of continuing threat

10 November 2011

Influenza is never off the news agenda for long. If it’s not the flu season (and it always is in one hemisphere) and the attendant calls for vaccinations, it’s news about vaccines causing problems or new ones that will imbue immunity to all variants and mutations of the virus.

In this first of a two-part series on influenza and the future of vaccines for it, Peter Doherty discusses how these viruses mutate and how we monitor them to create effective vaccines.

Human influenza vaccines usually contain three components designed to protect against two different influenza A viruses (H1N1 and H3N2) and one influenza B virus. Influenza B viruses are only known to infect pigs and seals, while A viruses of various types infect everything from whales to cats and seagulls to dogs.

All three vaccine components are subject to what’s called “antigenic drift”, that is, they throw off escape mutants that are no longer destroyed by blood-borne antibodies.

These mutants then emerge as novel variants of the virus that transmit throughout a susceptible population. This susceptible pool includes those given the previous vaccine that stimulated the (formerly) protective antibody response.

This is a classical case of Darwinian evolution at work, though I don’t know if the anti-evolution creationists claim lethal viruses like influenza and HIV as part of their fantasy world.

Seasonal and pandemic flu

“Seasonal” influenza viruses tend to emerge every year or two and spread rapidly around the world. But, no matter how severe they may be, we don’t call these occurrences pandemics.

By definition, a “pandemic” influenza virus shows evidence of more than just incremental change.

Seasonal variants of the H3N2 “Hong Kong” flu have been circulating in humans since 1968, while the current H1N1 seasonal strain is the H1N1 “swine flu” that caused the 2009 pandemic. Each initially arose by a completely different process, called reassortment, to embody what we call an “antigenic shift”.

The basis of this shift lies in the influenza virus' RNA genome being organized in eight different segments. If a single cell in, say, the respiratory tract of a human or a pig happens to become infected with two different influenza A viruses, they can simply “re-package” to give rise to a new virus that has bits from each parent virus.

The Hong Kong flu, for instance, is thought to have become a human pathogen when an H3N8 duck virus and the H2N2 Asian flu that had been circulating globally since 1957 got together in the lung of a person or a pig to provide the new H3N2 pandemic virus that soon displaced the seasonal strain.

This opportunistic re-packaging is why novel influenza A viruses tend to emerge from warm, wet environments where “traditional” agricultural practices bring water birds, pigs and humans into close proximity.

Craig Cloutier

What (probably) happened in 2008 is that two swine H1N1 variants (North American and Eurasian) reassorted in the lung of a Mexican pig to create a novel virus that could spread readily between people. Humans can catch influenza from pigs, and vice versa.

Current vaccines

All influenza vaccines currently in use in Australia are made by growing viruses to a high concentration in either hen’s eggs with embryos or in tissue culture.

These concentrations of viruses are then cleaned up to remove impurities and viral components that may be unduly reactogenic (likely to cause fever).

Any infectious virus is killed (inactivated) by treatment with chemicals such as formaldehyde or betapropiolactone. The balance between reactogenicity and immunogenicity (giving a good antibody response) is fairly fine.

Some countries in the Northern Hemisphere also use “attenuated”, live vaccines that grow only in the nose and give a more “natural” immunity.

This is essentially the same as the difference between the killed (Salk) and attenuated-live (Sabin) polio (poliomyelitis) vaccines. The Sabin vaccine is never used in a situation where it’s thought that poliovirus is close to eradication (so a mutation back to virulence can’t emerge).

Killed influenza-virus vaccines give good antibody responses that, at least in young, healthy people, protects well.

Global flu watch

What’s happening globally with influenza is monitored very closely by a global network of five world reference centers (including one in Melbourne), working with a much larger number of national laboratories.

New variants are rapidly sequenced to see where mutational changes have occurred, and there’s a constant and open interchange of information.

This effort is coordinated by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Geneva and culminates in two annual meetings (one for the North and one for the South) where the decision is made about which strains of the influenza A and B viruses should be used to make the “seasonal” vaccines for the coming year.

Generally (though not always) they get it right. But any prediction in science is probabilistic, and influenza can behave in unexpected ways. So there are several problems with this approach.

The first is that, while the correlation between annual influenza vaccination and longevity is strong, these vaccines work sub-optimally in the elderly.

And the second is that vaccines generally have to be made afresh each year to deal with novel, seasonal variants, and the WHO “best guess” isn’t always 100% perfect.

Diego Cupolo

The final problem is that these vaccines provide no protection at all against a novel pandemic strain.

It took six months before any vaccine against the 2009 “swine” H1N1 was in people’s arms. By that time, the virus had spread globally and the first peak of infection was already past.

Fortunately, even though this virus was incredibly transmissible, it wasn’t too virulent. But we could have had a catastrophe if, for example, something like a novel H5N1 “bird flu” variant had jumped into humans.

These “high pathogenicity” H5N1 viruses are currently evolving very rapidly in bird populations, and a recent experiment (done under very high security conditions) in the Netherlands showed that only five mutational changes are required to enable transmission between ferrets.

Ferrets are generally considered to be the optimal model for people, and the first human influenza virus isolate ever was recovered (in 1933) by ferret inoculation.

The problem for us is that, first off, we have to keep making new influenza vaccines specific for “antigenically shifted”, seasonal variants and that any resistance to infection with a newly “shifted” pandemic strain is minimal to none.

What we need are novel flu vaccines to stimulate cross-reactive immune responses that provide much broader protection. And there are some new, and intriguing possibilities. While some media claims may go a bit beyond present reality, progress is being made.

Friday, November 11, 2011

A recent Pandemic discusion on Bird flu H5N1

 and also about the recent Cambodian co-infection.

India-Bird Flu outbreak feared in Kulti

Bird Flu outbreak feared in Kulti
8 November 2011
DURGAPUR, 8 NOV: Nearly 500 chickens died in the Kulti area of Asansol in three days spreading apprehension of Bird Flu outbreak in the area.
Locals witnessed chickens dying in poultry farms, domestic places since Sunday in the Patiyana Mahalla area under ward number 25 of the Kulti Municipality. Mr Selim Akhtar, the ward commissioner, said: “The successive deaths of the birds have raised the apprehension whether it was Bird Flu.” He said: “I have informed the matter to the Asansol sub-divisional administration.”
The SDO, Asansol, Mr Sandip Dutta said that the matter has been brought to the notice of the animal husbandry officials for inspection and sample collection. sns

Food Problem Year: stamping service animal care

Food Problem Year: stamping service animal care
Nam Nguyen, RFA reporter
No bird flu vaccines change, livestock epidemic in trouble because of foot and mouth and blue ear pig, Vietnam made "May disinfection and hygiene nationwide environmental" fiercely stamping service stable disease to livestock enough food for New Year season.

Two veterinary staff working in the frozen zone "area with bird flu" in Bac Giang. AFP PHOTO

Worries farmers
Losses because of outbreaks of livestock in Vietnam had caused supply crisis pork and poultry. An agricultural country like Vietnam had to import this year to 120,000 tons of meat, including poultry products account for more than 80%. Mr. Hoang Kim Giao, director of animal husbandry from Hanoi said that, profitable enterprise that they enter. Mr Giao said imported chicken is not whole, only the legs, arms or fourth child. Pork is the meat grinding, meat pieces, but beef is good quality.
"Vietnam has not banned imports of meat and food, not for the quota for free trade, on the quality standards that are in it."
Mr. Hoang Kim Giao, Vietnam is trying to reassure the disease control rate re fast now because farmers had three back. Therefore, seasonal food supply for people nationwide Tet is abundant.

Thịt heo tươi được bày bán tại một chợ nhỏ ở Hà Nội. AFP

Fresh pork sold in a small market in Hanoi. AFP website reported, Veterinary Department, Hoang Van Five days 8/11 identified as the weather and the seasons change smuggled poultry situation complicated is that the risk of new outbreaks remains high. In particular, the northern weather temperatures increase the risk of developing respiratory disease for pigs, including blue-ear disease.Theoretically, Vietnam has 300 million poultry, 28 million more than 9 million pigs and cattle. According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in 10 months from beginning to end on 31/10 about 25 thousand pigs had to be destroyed when PRRS outbreaks in 13 provinces.
Foot and mouth disease occurred in 34 provinces as well as nearly 100,000 infected cattle as cattle, pigs and goats to slaughter of nearly 20,000 children. Particularly HPAI H5N1 outbreak occurred in 90 provinces with 22 dead or poultry to be destroyed is 141,000 children. The noteworthy point is the H5N1 bird flu virus has added a new category, which appears in parallel in Vietnam, while the world can not be made effective vaccine.

TS Application for registration, Chief Veterinary Epidemiology Vietnam said:
"Vaccines for the new strain 2.3.2 class I to Beijing just over a week ago but now is a new vaccine, the H5N1 bird flu virus strain 2.3.2 appeared in South China and Vietnam Nam together a vaccine is still effective. "

Difficulties in disease prevention
Một quầy bán thịt gà làm sẵn ở Hà Nội. AFP
A ready-made chicken stalls in Hanoi. AFP
Answer the question in this context, veterinary services will be measures to prevent bird flu virus changes with in the place of service. Dr. Van Post reported U.S. outbreak virus strains with class 2 in Phu Tho, Thai Binh and Nghe An and Quang Tri and potentially virus circulation in most of the North Central Province.
"13 provinces in the south still circulating virus class1, we still shots, we just enter Re5 60 million doses of vaccine-H5N1, the vaccine remains effective for our class and prepare a vaccination drive 2-2011.
For central and northern provinces, the class 2.3.2 does not work the way our resolve to strengthen surveillance systems.Our new import 60 million doses of H5N1 vaccine-Re5, this vaccine is effective for our class and prepare a vaccination drive 2-2011. For central and northern provinces, the class 2.3.2 does not work the way our resolve to strengthen surveillance systems...

Former Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari - Legacy of Ignorance

Parents Three PRIMARY Immunization against measles and Tetanus Decline

PURBALINGGA, (PRLM). old people hundreds of students in three elementary schools in the District of Purbalingga, Central Java refused immunization DT (Diptheri Tetanus)/TT (Tetanus) and measles.
They refused because the book by former Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari, titled "it's time the world is changing, the Lord's hands Behind Bird Flu ' Virus and vaccine danger book written by Jerry P Gray.
Head of disease control and Environmental Restructuring (P2PL) Health Service South Tyrol, Drs. Marsiman says, there are parents in three ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS that deny their son immunized.
Two of them refused immunization for measles and one SD refused immunization DT (Diptheri Tetanus)/TT (Tetanus). "When are we going to do the parents direct immunization refused immunization program the Government help so to do, "he said.

Indonesia: Demak - Thousands of Quail Destroyed #H5N1

Thousands of Quail Destroyed

  • Complained, Indemnity Compensation
Demak-owned quail Thousands of residents in the Hamlet District of the City Krajan Village Sedo Demak destroyed by fire due to bird flu virus Friday afternoon. Thousands of quail breeder belongs Kusnanto (27) resident of RT 1 RW 2. Culling binatan the officers attended a number of District Agriculture Department of Animal Husbandry Sector Demak.

To avoid the viruses that infect birds transmitted to humans, officials and livestock owners provided clothing, masks and special glasses. ''There are at least 3000 quail to be exterminated. Livestock my property, according to officials of positive bird flu,''said Kusnanto. Mentioned himself raising quail last six months. Initially, the number reached nearly 4,000 head of cattle. But the number was steadily decreasing due to the possibility of bird flu virus.

Indonesia: Demak confirmed positive #H5N1 #birdflu in poultry

Infected with Bird Flu, Thousands of Quail Burn In Demak In
11 November 2011, 20:15:57 PM

DVO Demak, Last Day, Destroy Thousands of Birds Which Has Suspected Bird Flu Disease Infected.
Efforts Following This Guide, Test Results From Tests Rapid Or Quick Test, The District Veterinary Subdin Demak. In the Know Positive Infected with Bird Flu.

Officers of Sub DVO Demak, Daylight Earlier, Going Home Kusnanto Villagers tears District Demak Demak.Kedatangan District Officers from the City Agriculture and Animal Husbandry It To Abolish Three Thousand More Quail, Owned Kusnanto The Positive Bird Flu Infected.
The Birds In Cages Then Take From The Field To Take On The Way In Death to Burn. Nasron One Of A Subdin District Veterinary Officer Declaring Demak, Culling It Is to Do After Rapid Test Which Shows, Thousands of Quail Hers, Positive Bird Flu Infected.
Kusnanto The Ranch Owner Says, Culling It To Anticipate For Not Transmitted to Other Breeders.
The Quail death Suddenly tears District Villagers Create Demak Restless City. In the village of tears Alone When It Has Three Breeders Quail. In Bungkinkan Also Infected by Avian Influenza Infection.Each Belongs, Kusnanto total of Three Thousand Five Hundred Tail, Sucipto Has Four Thousand Two Hundred And Subakir Tails, Tails Over Three Thousand.
The Farmers Hoping Government, They Want to Help Capital, Due By The Case It, The Breeders Out Modal.Sementara Bird - Bird Must On New Livestock Approximately four to five months, So Not Produce Or What They Tanamakan Capital Returns.

Conserved host response to highly pathogenic avian influenza virus infection in human cell culture, mouse and macaque model systems


Jason E McDermott email, Harish Shankaran email, Amie J Eisfeld email, Sarah E Belisle email, Gabriele Neumann email, Chengjun Li email, Shannon K McWeeney email, Carol L Sabourin email, Yoshihiro Kawaoka email, Michael G Katze email and Katrina M Waters email

BMC Systems Biology 2011, 5:190doi:10.1186/1752-0509-5-190

Published: 11 November 2011

Abstract (provisional)


Understanding host response to influenza virus infection will facilitate development of better diagnoses and therapeutic interventions. Several different experimental models have been used as a proxy for human infection, including cell cultures derived from human cells, mice, and non-human primates. Each of these systems has been studied extensively in isolation, but little effort has been directed toward systematically characterizing the conservation of host response on a global level beyond known immune signaling cascades.


In the present study, we employed a multivariate modeling approach to characterize and compare the transcriptional regulatory networks between these three model systems after infection with a highly pathogenic avian influenza virus of the H5N1 subtype. Using this approach we identified functions and pathways that display similar behavior and/or regulation including the well-studied impact on the interferon response and the inflammasome. Our results also suggest a primary response role for airway epithelial cells in initiating hypercytokinemia, which is thought to contribute to the pathogenesis of H5N1 viruses. We further demonstrate that we can use a transcriptional regulatory model from the human cell culture data to make highly accurate predictions about the behavior of important components of the innate immune system in tissues from whole organisms.


This is the first demonstration of a global regulatory network modeling conserved host response between in vitro and in vivo models.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


   Wednesday (9/11/2011) at the Hall Moch Toha Kodiklat Army deployed an integrated program of mental training. . On occasion, the Secretary of the Army Brigadier General Kodiklat Sunindyo opening ceremony attended by hundreds of residents Kodiklat and staff members.
 The event brings together speakers from Kesdam III / SLW and Pomdam III / SLW with penanggulan topic and dangers of bird flu and degenerative diseases as well as criminal offenses in the army.
  In the event Captain CKM (K)  Bernadette explained that early prevention needs to be done and urged the public to be alert to the danger of bird flu virus H5N1 causes the transition relation of the dry season to rainy season.
Anticipating the spread of bird flu virus is by spraying disinfectant on the cage and also continue to encourage poultry farmers to pay attention to cleanliness of poultry cages, because if the cage is less maintained the cleanliness of the potential spread of the H5N1 virus or bird flu. In addition to spraying disinfectants as well, an effective way to prevent the spread of bird flu is to wash hands with soap.


FLU NEWS SCAN: H5N1 in Vietnam, VLP vaccine plant opening

Nov 10, 2011
H5N1 hits birds in Vietnamese village
Vietnam's animal health ministry today reported an H5N1 avian influenza outbreak at a village in Nghe An province, according to a report to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). The virus sickened 1,803 birds, which were destroyed to help contain the spread of the disease. Nghe An is in northern Vietnam. Authorities haven't determined the source of the outbreak. Vietnam reported its last H5N1 outbreaks on Sep 5, which struck birds in Quang Ngai, Quang Tri, and Thai Binh provinces.Nov 10 OIE report from Vietnam
In other developments, Iran's agriculture ministry today updated the OIE on its investigations of three H5N1 outbreaks that struck birds in Mazandaran province last month. No new outbreaks have been reported. Officials said this time of year the province hosts migratory birds from northern locations. Mazandaran province is in northern Iran on the Caspian Sea
Nov 10 OIE report from Iran

Medicago set to open US factory for making plant-based VLP flu vaccines
A factory that will make virus-like particle (VLP) influenza vaccines using plants will officially open with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Nov 14, Medicago USA announced today. The facility, in Research Triangle Park, N.C., began operating Sep 13, said the company, a subsidiary of Quebec-based Medicago Inc. The 97,000-square-foot facility has a fully automated greenhouse along with extraction and purification equipment for producing recombinant vaccine antigens in non-transgenic plants, the company said. It is designed to produce 40 million doses of seasonal flu vaccine or 120 million doses of pandemic flu vaccine per year. In August 2010 the US Department of Defense's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) awarded Medicago a $21 million grant to build the plant. The firm reported positive results from a phase 2 clinical trial of its H5N1 avian flu vaccine in June of this year and recently reported good results in a phase 1 trial of an H5N1/seasonal flu vaccine candidate, the announcement said.
Nov 10 Medicago press release
Aug 10, 2010, CIDRAP News item about DARPA grant

Vietnam Veterinary Department (MARD) report

Veterinary Department (MARD) 10:11 yesterday confirmed bird flu recurrence in Nghe An was the outbreak in poultry population of H. Quynh Luu, to 1,803 chickens, ducks sick.

UK-New national pandemic plan revealed

UK-New national pandemic plan revealed
Bird flu outbreak or other virulent diseases would not cause closing of borders or isolation
  • November 11, 2011
  • London: Britain would remain on a ‘business as usual' footing in the event of a global flu outbreak with no closing of borders, ban on mass gatherings or restrictions on public transport under the new national plan for dealing with a pandemic.
There would also be no widespread school closures or public use of anti-virals to prevent the disease under the strategy published by the four UK health departments yesterday.
Although the NHS is being told to prepare for an extra 210,000 to 315,000 deaths over a 15-week period in a pandemic, the updated plan demands a ‘proportionate' response to an emergency and for the first time distinguishes between low, moderate and high-impact measures depending on the severity and spread of the virus.
Ministers appear determined to show what they regard as more measured, but not complacent, planning assumptions after the UK escaped lightly from scares over H5N1 bird flu in 1997 and 2003 and the first pandemic of the 21st century, the spread of H1NI swine flu in 2009.

In the UK, most people who caught H1N1 developed relatively mild illnesses. Its impact also varied, with London, the West Midlands and Glagow experiencing extreme pressures on local health services before parts of the northwest of England and Northern Ireland had any cases. The same do-it-yourself health measures undertaken during seasonal flu outbreaks can reduce the spread of infection and treat mild to moderate symptoms, says the document. These include proper washing of hands, staying at home, keeping warm, drinking plenty of fluids and using over the counter cold and flu medicines.

Nevertheless, identifying the exact strain of virus could be problematic and take time, with production of specific vaccines taking four to six months. Estimating the potential economic impact is also difficult, given the lack of specific advance information.
But if 50 per cent of employees were absent from work for an average of 1.5 weeks, there might be a £28 billion (Dh163.5 billion) loss in GDP.

In a widespread and severe pandemic, between 15 to 20 per cent of staff could be absent on any given day. Additional absences could be caused by staff taking time off to care for sick dependants or looking after children if schools were closed. Effective pre-planning could mitigate that.
Health care workers would get face masks and respirators to treat sick patients, but such equipment would not be issued to the public, who might not use them properly, change them regularly or dispose of them properly.
Closing airports, ports and international rail terminals would only delay, not stop, the arrival of a pandemic while causing problems for food, medical and other supplies. Thermal screening of passengers would also be a waste of time, money and staff. Restricting transport and large events would also be avoided.

Beware of ARI and diarrhea in Rainy Season

Beware of ARI and diarrhea in Rainy Season

Friday, 11/11/2011 - 06:34

BANDUNG (AFP) .- Along with the arrival of the rainy season, people are expected to guard against acute respiratory infections (ARI), including cough and cold and diarrhea.
Based on the experience they had done before, both diseases are most common in the community....

 ..Asked about the bird flu (H5N1), Primal said the disease can occur at any time, not associated with changes in seasons or weather. Bird flu is transmitted from birds to humans in an area that has been declared endemic. Strict monitoring should be done when suddenly there was poultry that died suddenly in large numbers. "Agencies concerned should immediately intervene to ensure the bird flu or not. People associated with poultry, poultry suspected of either bird flu or not, still have to maintain hygiene after contact with poultry, wash hands with soap and animal husbandry can be separated if the distance is not so easy to man transmission from birds to humans, "he said

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Centre issues fresh flu alert for bordering northeastern states

Centre issues fresh flu alert for bordering northeastern states

Agartala, Nov 09: With the arrival of the guest birds from different parts of the world at the on-set of winter, Union Health Ministry has asked the northeastern states bordering Bangladesh and Myanmar- Tripura, Mizoram, Meghalaya and Assam to keep a close watch on the poultry firms, as the region was identified as prone to H5N1 avian influenza.
The latest communiqué to the states ministry said that the poultry industry in the bordering northeastern and eastern Indian states including West Bengal and Bihar had been facing a serious threat following the outbreak of the disease over past two years and anticipating the possibility of spread of the virus this year, the ministry reminded the prevention guidelines.

Earlier, last month Assam had sounded bird flu alert after getting report from Bhopal-based High Security Animal Disease Laboratory tested positive for H5N1 virus while Mizoram had followed suit as a precautionary measure.

However, recently Tripura had sounded a bird flu alert after the spread of the virus in the adjoining Assam and the authority put ban on import of poultry and poultry products from Assam, and asked its officials to maintain a close vigil along the border.
Meanwhile, more than 80 rapid response teams were kept ready to act in case of an outbreak of bird flu in the state and poultry farmers had been asked to monitor the birds health on regular basis and report to the nearest animal health clinic.

Animal Resource Development authority and health department had constituted several committees to ensure frequent visits to poultry firm. The state had brought fresh checks (parent pairs) from Orissa recently for revival of the industry, officials said here today.

Dinkes Add Stock Tamiflu

 Dinkes Add Stock Tamiflu
10 November 2011

Demak - Public Health (Health Office) Demak tamiflu stock adds to the health centers in 14 sub-health centers. According to Heru Putranto Gufrin Health Office of Public Relations, it is anticipated the possibility of outbreak of bird flu virus. As reported dozens of chickens died suddenly in the village of attached, District attached, in a few days.

''The action was limited to only anticipation. Anticipation is important of course to prevent the possibility of bird flu viruses infect humans,''he said.
Mentioned, tamiflu large amounts of previously stored for the stock is now distributed in 26 health centers. Shipping is done from the office Hadiwijaya Health Office Jalan Sultan, yesterday morning.

The rest agency also has asked all heads of health centers to provide a report if it found that people who experience a sudden high fever. Although fever is not the only sign of bird flu but should be wary. According Gufrin, tamiflu is a drug to fight bird flu virus.

Sudden dead

Meanwhile, according to Ali Muad (35), attached village residents, the number of chickens that died suddenly in place to grow. If yesterday is still limited to a dozen now in the tens. Farm animals died suddenly with symptoms of staggering.

He also asked for no attention Demak regency that residents do not fret. The Head of Department of Agriculture Ir Wibowo who was also in charge of livestock admits to collect data regarding farm animals died suddenly. Data collection carried out to determine the exact cause of death of livestock.
He asked if there were citizens who suddenly found their livestock killed immediately reported to the agency.

In vitro evolution of H5N1 avian influenza virus toward human-type receptor specificity

Li-Mei Chena, 1, Ola Blixtb, d, 1, 2, James Stevensa, c, Aleksandr S. Lipatova, Charles T. Davisa, Brian E. Collinsb, d, Nancy J. Coxa, James C. Paulsonb, d, 1, Ruben O. Donisa, Corresponding Author Contact Information, 1, E-mail The Corresponding Author
aInfluenza Division, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road, Atlanta, GA 30333, United States
bDepartment of Chemical Physiology, The Scripps Research Institute, 10550 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037, United States
cSkaggs Institute for Chemical Biology, The Scripps Research Institute, 10550 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037, United States
dGlycan Array Synthesis Core-D, Consortium for Functional Glycomics, The Scripps Research Institute, 10550 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037, United States

Received 27 August 2011; revised 26 September 2011; Accepted 10 October 2011. Available online 5 November 2011.


Acquisition of α2-6 sialoside receptor specificity by α2-3 specific highly-pathogenic avian influenza viruses (H5N1) is thought to be a prerequisite for efficient transmission in humans. By in vitro selection for binding α2-6 sialosides, we identified four variant viruses with amino acid substitutions in the hemagglutinin (S227N, D187G, E190G, and Q196R) that revealed modestly increased α2-6 and minimally decreased α2-3 binding by glycan array analysis. However, a mutant virus combining Q196R with mutations from previous pandemic viruses (Q226L and G228S) revealed predominantly α2-6 binding. Unlike the wild type H5N1, this mutant virus was transmitted by direct contact in the ferret model although not by airborne respiratory droplets. However, a reassortant virus with the mutant hemagglutinin, a human N2 neuraminidase and internal genes from an H5N1 virus was partially transmitted via respiratory droplets. The complex changes required for airborne transmissibility in ferrets suggest that extensive evolution is needed for H5N1 transmissibility in humans.

New Hampshire: Seal Die-off Update: NOAA declares string of seal deaths an unusual mortality event

Public reminded to maintain safe distance from seals as investigation continues

November 4, 2011

NOAA announced today that the high number of seal deaths that have occurred along the New England coast since September has been declared an “Unusual Mortality Event.” This will enable the agency to direct additional resources to further investigate the cause of these seal deaths.

“We want to remind people to not get close to seals encountered along the shore, to keep their pets away and to report any sightings to us through our stranding hotline, while we continue to assess whether there is any potential human health risk,” said Dr. Teri Rowles, National Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program Coordinator, NOAA Fisheries Service.

The declaration of an Unusual Mortality Event (UME) was determined after a formal consultation with the Working Group on Marine Mammal Unusual Mortality Events, a panel of international experts established under the Marine Mammal Protection Act to monitor and investigate marine mammal health concerns.

From Sept. 1 to Nov. 3, NOAA’s national Marine Mammal Stranding Network, the New England Aquarium’s Marine Mammal Rescue Program and the University of New England's Marine Animal Rescue Center, have been working with NOAA to respond to a reported 146 seals strandings in Maine, New Hampshire and northern Massachusetts. Most of the animals were harbor seals less than a year old. This is more than three times the average number of strandings that typically occur this time of year.

Preliminary pathology, biotoxin and virology analysis has been conducted on samples from five seals examined by the New England Aquarium. Samples from the five seals has tested positive for the Influenza A virus, while test results for six other viral pathogens and biotoxins were negative.

Even though preliminary results have been received, they are only indicative of those five cases, and additional evaluations are underway to determine whether the influenza virus has played a role in the overall mortalities.

An investigation team of marine mammal experts will work closely with NOAA, New England Stranding Network partners and the Working Group on Marine Mammal Unusual Mortality Events to identify and characterize the specific type of Influenza A virus found in these animals.

Seals, like other marine mammals (dolphins, whales, and sea lions), are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. People and their pets should maintain a safe distance to avoid disturbing the animal, being subject to a fine or risking injury. Some safe viewing tips:

  • Call NOAA Fisheries Service's stranding hotline at 1-866-755-NOAA (6622), or a local marine mammal stranding network member or visit NOAA's Northeast Region website for local contact information.
  • Stay at least 50 yards (150 feet) away from seals or other marine mammals.
  • Keep dogs on a leash and don't allow them to approach seals. Seals and dogs can easily infect each other with diseases since they are closely related species.

More information on this unusual mortality event and updates about the ongoing investigation can be found on NOAA Fisheries’ Web site at:

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join us on Facebook, Twitter and our other social media channels.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Dozens of Sudden Death Chickens

  Dozens of Sudden Death Chickens
 November 09, 2011
  Residents Worry Bird Flu

 Demak-dozen chickens owned by residents Krajan Hamlet Village District attached attached is found dead suddenly in the last few days.  Farm animals that died after exhibiting some symptoms of one of them staggered manner.  Some residents who met Suara Merdeka yesterday admitted worry bird flu virus attack.
''Chicken mine as much as seven tails died suddenly within a few days.  Symptoms, the animal's gait staggering plus his head is a kind of red spots,''said Maryamah (53) resident of RT 2 RW 4. 
Mother of four was found dead in his chicken first sacrificial feast day Sunday (6 / 8).  He is about to depart Eid al-Adha prayers was surprised to find his two chickens stagger near the cage. When approached by the animals is also not running but still.  Maryamah then watched their flocks of animals that flounder and eventually died at the corner of the cage.  In the afternoon three chickens also died of his hometown.

  Then Tuesday morning found two male chickens died again. Fearing that unwanted chickens that died directly in the grave.  He admitted that he panicked because a number of chickens that are still alive are also directly sold cheaply or about Rp 20.000/ekor far below the normal price that could reach Rp 60,000-Rp 70.000/ekor. 

  The case has also been experienced Muntamah (62) Maryamah neighbors. A total of nine tails chickens died suddenly a few consecutive days.  Munir (42) one resident admitted quite anxious to know some neighbors chickens died suddenly.  He asked the District Government to intervene immediately because of fears of bird flu spread.

Terp District Health Office Chief of Public Relation separate Demak Heru H Gufrin Putranto claims will immediately deploy officers in the location of the discovery of chickens died suddenly. Officers will also be analyzing the causes of death of the chickens.

  ''We are not sure about the cause of death of the resident farm animals.  But clearly whatever it is, residents are asked to be alert and most importantly keeping the environment clean,''Gufrin message.  He at once requested that any chicken or poultry that died suddenly did not directly linked with the avian flu virus.