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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FH : SU defense stifles Monmouth in victory to open season

first_img Comments Thanks to the blitzing athleticism of the Syracuse field hockey team, head coach Ange Bradley sees her defense play as an inherently contradictory game.Bradley’s Orange has — and always will — attack ruthlessly while attempting to maintain a four-player ‘diamond’ defensive form at the back. In collegiate field hockey, it is the ultimate line to tiptoe, especially for a speed team like SU.‘It was our athleticism that won the game for us today,’ Bradley said. ‘Not our smarts.’Saturday’s 4-0 shutout win over Monmouth was no exception. The season opener was the first example of defensive duality that proves both effective and potentially deadly. Even if the Orange accomplished the ultimate goal of a shutout over the Hawks, Syracuse pushed forward with a bit too much gusto.It’s something that might prove costly against a better team.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text‘We just got greedy,’ Bradley said. ‘Everyone is trying to move into the attack and not have the discipline and structure to let the ball do the work. They did a lot of straight ahead running, and that closes down angles instead of opening angles to score.’Saturday, SU was greedy time and time again. And Bradley felt her team let greed and athleticism get the best of them. It led to the diminution of the team’s defensive intelligence.At the rear of the Syracuse defense, junior back Amy Kee is the ‘voice.’ Saturday, Kee steered a talented SU defense to the 4-0 shutout victory. Monmouth registered only three shots during game — 30 fewer than SU.Statistically, the Orange defense played well. But Kee knows otherwise.‘The defense did do well,’ Kee said. ‘However, they didn’t take their opportunities as say teams we’re going to come up against in the next few weeks will do. So I think we’ve got to keep working on it.’Kee and her fellow starting defenders, Iona Holloway and Laura Hahnefeldt, combined to take 14 of the team’s 33 total shots.As too many defenders pushed forward, the diamond in the back was left exposed. It turned into a four-player shape with gaps. Monmouth physically wasn’t able to take advantage of those, but No. 2 North Carolina and other teams on SU’s schedule will.‘The press did not work well today,’ said Martina Loncarica, a senior midfielder. ‘That’s something we just have to keep working, studying and get it down right.’Bradley has bestowed Kee with the difficult task of verbally and physically keeping SU’s defensive form. She is Bradley’s on-field captain, and even with her one goal and ten shots Saturday, she didn’t complete her job defensively.‘We were trying to keep (our defensive form) a little bit more instead of letting everybody forward because then we leave less opposing players in behind us,’ Kee said.Junior back Iona Holloway is perhaps the prime example of the SU defense’s dual role duty. The junior is technically listed as a back, but regularly moves between the Orange defense and its forward attack, as she has taken on more of an offensive role this year.Saturday, Holloway was carried off the turf with 13 minutes remaining in the game. It was perhaps part of the reason for the defensive lapses.From then on, all the way through Bradley’s postgame lecture, Holloway sat idle on the SU bench. Bradley said Holloway’s injury was heat exhaustion-related.Though athleticism will promote defensive attacking for SU this year, the midfield and defense must maintain better shape and maturity rather than slipping into freeform blitzing.‘Keeping disciplined is something we need to improve, but it was a shutout,’ Kee said.aolivero@syr.edu Facebook Twitter Google+center_img Published on August 28, 2011 at 12:00 pmlast_img read more

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