Friday, April 16, 2010

Egypt: Confirmed H5N1 Infection in Donkeys

A new study investigating H5N1 in mammalian hosts has confirmed that the virus was found in donkeys in Egypt.

Nasal swabs were collected from donkeys suffering from respiratory distress. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the virus clustered within the lineage of H5N1 from Egypt, closely related to 2009 isolates. It harbored few genetic changes compared to the closely related viruses from avian and humans. The neuraminidase lacks oseltamivir resistant mutations.

These findings extend the host range of the H5N1 influenza virus, possess implications for influenza virus epidemiology and highlight the need for the systematic surveillance of H5N1 in animals in the vicinity of backyard poultry units especially in endemic areas.

Source: Journal of Biomedical Science

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