PROOF H5N1 Virus
Sequence UK-Hungary

From Patricia Doyle, PhD

Hello Jeff - Well, it does appear that the UK scoop re Bernard Matthews importing turkey meat from Hungary AFTER bird flu hit Hungary and then trucking turkley meat back to Hungary AFTER bird flu hit the UK is TRUE and the virus sequence tells the story. A 99.96% match is overwhelming proof of the connection between the outbreaks. Bernard Matthews has turkey farms in both countries and has shipped turkey meat between the two AFTER outbreak of bird flu.
Beyond shameful.
Here again, just another reason why I believe bird flu will continue its trek around the globe unfettered and will not be contained or eradicated. It sickens me to hear of greedy fools like Matthews.  - Patty
A ProMED-mail post ProMED-mail is a program of the International Society for Infectious Diseases
UK - Final Confirmation Of Identity Of H5N1 Strain
DEFRA News Release
Deputy chief vet Fred Landeg today (Tue 13 Feb 2007) confirmed that the laboratory analysis of the Suffolk and Hungary H5N1 avian influenza viruses is now complete.
The Veterinary Laboratory Agency (VLA) analysis has revealed a very high similarity (99.96%) between the H5N1 viruses found in Suffolk and the Hungarian outbreaks at the whole genome level. These results indicate that the viruses are essentially identical.
"Although other European viruses have shown close relationships to these viruses, these levels of identity are much closer than with other Asian lineage H5 viruses for which data are available, including those isolated from wild birds in Europe in 2005/06," VLA chief avian virologist Ian Brown said. "The comparison between the UK and Hungarian viruses reveals a high level of genetic match which cannot be said of other European virus strains."
Fred Landeg added: "I am grateful for the hard work of the VLA which has informed our investigation and current working hypothesis that poultry to poultry transmission is the most likely source of the outbreak. However, I must reiterate that we are not discounting any line of enquiry and this is an ongoing investigation."
On the public health aspects of the investigation Dame Deirdre Hutton (chair of the Food Standards Agency) commented: "The investigation so far has not found anything that raises the risk to public health.It is still a possibility that infected poultry has entered the food chain but the risk to public health remains low."
The 99.96% similarity of the RNA sequences of the genomes of the H5N1 avian influenza viruses isolated from turkeys in the UK and from geese in Hungary, and the absence of an obvious precursor, justifies the conclusion that these viruses are isolates of the same strain of H5N1 avian influenza virus. Questions which remain unresolved, and which may not be resolved by sequence analysis alone, are firstly the origin of this unique turkey/goose strain of virus and secondly the direction of travel of the infection -- from Hungary to England as presently supposed or from England to Hungary. - Mod.CP
Patricia A. Doyle DVM, PhD
Bus Admin, Tropical Agricultural Economics
Univ of West Indies
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