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Indonesian Scientists Detect Bird Flu Virus in Pigs
submited by kickingbird at Apr, 13, 2005 12:18 PM from www.asean-disease-surveillance.net

Scientists from Airlangga University Surabaya, Indonesia have detected the bird flu virus in pigs. This is a new development concerning bird flu in the country as the avian virus has traditionally been found only in poultry.

A scientist from the Airlangga University said that the virus has not appeared in the pig´s innards yet, however, it has penetrated into its body. The virus has been confirmed as H5N1, similar to those found in Yunnan province of China, but different from those detected in Thailand, Viet Nam and Cambodia. The virus in these countries can be transmitted from birds to humans.

information from ProMed

Date: Tue, 12 Apr 2005
From: Irene Lai <iwlai@attglobal.net>
Source: Kompas, 9 Apr 2005 [translated from Indonesian, edited]

Indonesia: Avian Influenza Virus Identified in Pigs
Ca Nidom, a molecular biology researcher from [the Centre for]
Tropical Disease Control, Airlangga University, Surabaya, East Java,
has reportedly identified avian influenza virus in throat swabs and
sera of pigs by RT-PCR. [District location not mentioned].

Inactivated RNA isolates have been sent to the Tokyo University,
where 8 fragments (HA, NA,  PA, PB1, PB2, M, NP, NS) were sequenced.
Results showed that the virus was [structurally?] similar to the
avian influenza virus from poultry, and is characterised by high
pathogenicity (based on the study regarding the cleavage site).

Dr. Irene Lai
International SOS

Date: Tue, 12 Apr 2005
From: Irene Lai <iwlai@attglobal.net>
Source: Kompas, 5 Apr 2005 [5 first paragraphs translated from
Indonesian, edited]

Indonesia: Agriculture Department to Investigate Avian Influenza Virus in Pigs
The Department of Agriculture will study the discovery of avian
influenza virus from infected pigs.  The agriculture department will
carry out sampling from several pig farms.  More research is needed,
especially regarding the background and route through which the
infection of pigs with avian flu virus took place.

The Minister of Agriculture, Anton Apriyantono, said to the
journalist on Mon, 11 Apr 2005 in Jakarta, that his staff has already
ordered the General Director of Farming Production to investigate
that finding. "We need confirmation because the news is not clear
yet. First, it is not clear where the pigs are originally from, what
is their current location and which type of pigs have been involved".
The General Director of Farming Production will assist the veterinary
investigators in studying samples from pigs. "We are already working
on it", said Anton

As broadcast on Saturday, the molecular biology researcher in
Airlangga University, CA Nidom, discovered the avian influenza virus
in pigs.  The finding was based on identification of [DNA/RNA?] and
might be interpreted as indicative for the presence of new avian
influenza cases in Indonesia. "We are responding to that report by
taking samples from pigs in Indonesia. Is it correct that pigs have
been infected? For me this is still the question", he said.

Dr. Irene Lai
International SOS

[ProMED-mail is grateful to Dr Lai for sending us the above
translated reports. - Mod.AS]

[These reports are somewhat contradictory. On the one hand it is
suggested that the complete genome of an avian influenza virus
isolated from a pig in Indonesia has been sequenced from RT-PCR
fragments, whereas on the other hand the presence of avian influenza
virus infection in pigs in Indonesia has still to be confirmed by
isolation of infectious virus. The serotype of the virus does not
appear to have been established, so it cannot be assumed at this
stage that the virus is the H5N1 East Asian epidemic strain.

However, although the situation is somewhat confused, these reports
cannot be dismissed lightly, because the presence of H5N1 virus in
pigs might increase the risk of adaptation of the epidemic avian
influenza virus to growth and transmission in mammals -- although it
should be emphasized that the role of pigs as mixing vessels in the
generation of pandemic influenza viruses is no more than a
hypothesis.  Further information is awaited with some apprehension. -

More information of this study is needed, please forward the information to report@flu.org.cn

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