'Scandalous' Non-Investigation
Of Manmade Flu In Pigs

From Patricia Doyle, PhD
Recombinomics Commentary
By Dr. Henry L. Niman, PhD
May 7, 2005
The inability of the WHO to detect or monitor WSN/33 in Korea raises serious questions. The sequences
A/swine/Korea/S10/2004 (H1N1)
A/swine/Korea/S175/2004 (H1N1)
A/swine/Korea/S109/2004 (H9N2)
A/swine/Korea/S190/2004 (H9N2)
A/swine/Korea/S81/2004 (H9N2)
A/swine/Korea/S83/2004 (H9N2)
were publicly available at the end of November, 2004. The WHO was warned of the danger, and six sequences of eight genes were publicly available at GenBank. A cursory examination of the public data indicated that contamination was an unlikely explanation. The WHO was given a detailed analysis of why contamination was unlikely.
It is unclear if WHO seriously looked at the public data. Instead they relied on speculation by one of their consultants that the sequences were a contaminant. Moreover, they spent the last five months trying to prove the speculation was correct. The efforts were a dismal failure, because the evidence for the speculation was a disputed shipment of the WSN/33 virus to Korea.
The WHO did not offer any evidence to inquiring journalists. They apparently floated nonsense about 30 sequences of eight genes from six isolates possibly being an uploading error, even though the WHO was well aware of a manuscript detailing the fact that the isolates were reassortants between H9N2 avian genes and H1N1 WSN/33 genes. The WHO stonewalling effectively closed out any public awareness of the public health problem. WHO issued a few comments to Nature and Science. They also prepared an announcement, but it remains unclear if that announcement was ever issued. It clearly revealed the WHO failure to resolve the issue. The WHO called the facts speculation and the speculation facts, and tried to close the book on the investigation. The WHO indicated that they did not have time to investigate "Internet speculation", when the "speculation" merely stated the obvious from an analysis of the publicly available sequences.
It is now over six months since the sequences were deposited at GenBank on October 24, 2004, yet there is no information on the origin of the WSN/33 sequences in swine. The 2005 sequences are clearly from the 2004 sequences, but the source of the 2004 sequences remains unknown. They could have come from a civilian lab, a military lab, or a bioterrorist lab. The infections could have been in South Korea or could have been imported via infected swine from the United States.
The list of serious questions is long and the investigation of the facts has just begun. Five months were wasted ignoring or trying to disprove the true facts. The WHO has yet to acknowledge that the WSN/33 sequences are real or what type of investigations are planned.
Monitoring of pandemic influenza has moved beyond scandalous.
Investigation Of Human And Bird Flu In Swine On Korean Farms
Recombinomics Commentary
By Dr. Henry L. Niman, PhD
May 7, 2005
At this point WHO should be well aware of the fact that the human H1N1 WSN/33 sequences in swine on Korean farms are quite real. The sequences at GenBank are not from 30 sequence files uploaded in error and they are not contamination from WSN/33 in the Sang Seo lab in South Korea. The case of WSN/33 is not closed.
WHO is now aware of the 9 new WSN/33 sequences from fatal infections of swine, including 7 sequences from PCR analysis of lung tissue. The origin of the sequences is unknown, but a full investigation is long over due. This process requires South Korea to notify the WHO that there is a problem with influenza infections in swine. These infections appear to involve Korean bird flu H9N2 sequences, as well as H1N2 and H1N1 sequences (WSN/33).
The H1N2 sequences have been described previously in swine in South Korea, as well as the United States. The WSN/33 sequences were first deposited at GenBank in October, 2004. The H9N2 sequences are most closely related to Korean avian sequences of 2004, which are distinct from 2003 sequences, suggesting these infections are recent. The H1N2 sequences were first reported in the United States in 2001.
WSN/33 was first isolated in London in 1940 in mouse brains following passage of WS/33 through mice. The first sequences at GenBank were from the early 90's. Thus, the time and location of WSN/33 infection is unclear. Therefore, an investigation of WSN/33 sequences in various labs around the world, as well as swine in the United States would help determine the origin of the WSN/33 sequences in swine on farms in Korea.
Patricia A. Doyle, PhD
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