Report: H5N1 mutated rapidly in Indonesian cluster

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Report: H5N1 mutated rapidly in Indonesian cluster

first_imgJul 12, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – Genetic studies show that the H5N1 avian influenza virus mutated multiple times as it spread through an Indonesia family in May, but the significance of the changes is uncertain, according to a news report today in Nature.The journal, basing its report on confidential genetic sequence data, published a chart showing that a total of 32 mutations were identified in viruses collected from six patients in the family case cluster. Previous reports from the World Health Organization and other experts gave the impression that only a few mutations had been found.The case cluster in North Sumatra involved a 37-year-old woman who apparently contracted the virus from poultry and then passed it to six relatives before she died. One of those six, a 10-year-old boy, then passed the virus to his father. WHO officials said last month that a specific mutation found in the boy and his father marked the first laboratory confirmation of human-to-human transmission of the virus.On May 23, the WHO said genetic sequencing of two viruses from the case cluster had shown “no evidence of genetic reassortment with human or pig influenza viruses and no evidence of significant mutations.” A month later, at the end of an avian flu conference in Jakarta, WHO officials told reporters the virus had mutated slightly when it infected the 10-year-old boy, and the same mutation showed up in his father. The mutation didn’t make the virus more transmissible or virulent, officials said.The genetic data obtained by Nature came from a presentation by University of Hong Kong virologist Malik Peiris at a closed session of the Jakarta meeting in June, the article says.The magazine says that 21 mutations were identified in a virus from the father of the 10-year-old boy, involving seven of the virus’s eight genes, suggesting that the virus was evolving rapidly as it spread. In addition, from one to four mutations were found in viruses collected from five other patients.The story says one of the mutations confers resistance to the antiviral drug amantadine, a finding not reported by the WHO.However, the virus did not spread beyond the extended family, as the article notes. “Many of the genetic changes did not result in the use of different amino acids by the virus,” the story says. “And there were no amino-acid changes in key receptor binding sites known to affect pathogenicity and transmissibility.”According to the magazine, viruses from six of the eight cases in the cluster have been sequenced, but the WHO has not shared the findings, saying they belong to Indonesia. The data have been released only to a few researchers linked to the WHO and the US Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention, the story says.Virologists quoted by the journal asserted that the withholding of sequence data on H5N1 is hindering scientists’ understanding of the virus. But WHO staff member Paul Gully replied, according to the article, that the agency’s job is investigating outbreaks, not doing academic research, and that labs don’t have the time or resources to do “high-quality sequencing” during outbreaks.See also:May 23 WHO statement on genetic data from the case clusterhttp://www.who.int/csr/don/2006_05_23/en/index.htmlJun 23 CIDRAP News story “H5N1 mutation showed human transmission in Indonesia”last_img read more

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Lambert living his very own dream

first_img “I would have to say Steven Gerrard,” came the swift response. “He lives through all the dreams I had as a kid. Everything I wanted to do he has actually done, so I would have to say him.” Reminded of that question he recalled the answer immediately, although this time he called him ‘Stevie G’ – a sign of the friendship that has built with the England captain since getting his first cap earlier this season. “It is quite the journey,” Lambert said, smiling. “The way it has gathered momentum, it’s frightening. “Everything went our way at Southampton and each manager that came in improved me massively, especially Mauricio Pochettino. He taught me how to be a different kind of player and I think that’s helping now. “It is full credit to so many people. It’s hard to say thanks to everyone involved because there has been a lot of work gone on to make me who I am today and the player I am today. That’s mainly everyone at Southampton, from fitness to coaches to everyone.” Lambert is a rare player in the modern era that fans can empathise with, having held a normal job not so long ago and made his support for Liverpool well-known. He was at Anfield for every Champions League game during the 2005 season and got a Liver Bird tattoo on his shoulder after the famous win in Istanbul. Lambert, though, is keen not to “come across as a mad fan” and believes he can get even better at Liverpool, despite now being 32 years of age. Three years ago Rickie Lambert dreamt of swapping lives with Steven Gerrard – now he is playing alongside his idol for club and country. It has been quite the journey from the lower leagues to today, having this week joined boyhood club Liverpool before linking-up with England for the World Cup. Remarkably, Lambert was plying his trade in League One for Southampton as recently as 2011, when he was asked in an interview who he would trade places with, given the choice of anyone living or dead. “I wasn’t expecting a chance at Liverpool but I have got it,” he said. “Now that I’ve got it I will do everything to not let it go and I am more than confident that I will take the chance and I will be able to improve my game again. I’ve done that every season. “I’m going to get fitter. I’m going to do everything I can to get onto the next level now. “Even though I’m 32 I feel like a kid again. I’ve got so much enthusiasm for the game. “The fact that I’m playing under Brendan Rodgers and for Liverpool I just can’t wait. “It could have come earlier in my career – if it had I don’t think I would be performing at the level I am now. I might have missed the chance. “This is a good time because I am mentally and physically ready. If it doesn’t work out now there are no excuses. “I have done everything I can to get to this point. I wasn’t expecting a chance to play for Liverpool but now I’ve got it I’ll be trying my best to deliver.” That determined mentality was coaxed out of Lambert at Southampton, where former manager Pochettino employed some unusual methods. Pre-season is notoriously hard under the former Argentina international, who not only got his players running but also walking on hot coals “That was the easy part,” Lambert said with a laugh. “That was a relaxing afternoon. “He took us away for 18 days and it was all very specific. It wasn’t just like run to a tree and back, it was very well organised. “On the coals he got some fella in to try and give you that winning mentality. It was very interesting. “One of his methods was to walk across burning coal bare footed. It was a challenge, mind over matter. You knew nothing worse could happen to you during the season.” Press Associationlast_img read more

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