From conservationist concerned re H5N1:
This looks to be an important article: I haven't sent the whole text, only the conclusion, as it's mainly about how they did the analysis. However, there's a link to the full piece below.
1) The Novosibirsk strain is closely related to those in Asia 2003-2005 and Japan 2003-2004, which we know from Chen and others work were poultry-derived (there goes another of New Scientist's silly outburst statements). 2) Further confirmtion of Guan Yi's findings that the Qinghai "wild bird" strain was closely related to Chinese poultry strains, and not a "new strain" first seen in "wild birds" at the lake.
Given there is now doubt over the "wild" origins of the Bar-headed Geese at Qinghai, this paper seems to me to strengthen the case even further for westwards movement of the virus in poultry.
Incidently, did the two Lvov papers (on the Novosibirsk outbreak) ever get published? They included information on the infamous "asymptomatic grebe" and were posted on the web for comment. The conclusions on the data presented were so ridiculous that I imagine the paper was rejected/withdrawn pending a major rewrite.
H5N1 Influenza Virus, Domestic Birds, Western Siberia, Russia Alexander M. Shestopalov,* Alexander G. Durimanov,* Vasily A. Evseenko,* Vladimir A. Ternovoi,* Yury. N. Rassadkin,* Yulya V. Razumova,* Anna V. Zaykovskaya,* Sergey I. Zolotykh,* and Sergey V. Netesov* *State Research Center Virology and Biotechnology Vector, Koltsovo, Novosibirsk, Russia
We isolated H5N1 influenza virus from the spleen of a turkey that died during an outbreak in poultry in western Siberia in July 2005. HA and NA genes of this virus were closely related to those of H5N1 avian influenza viruses that caused outbreaks in birds in Asian countries from 2003 to 2005 and in Japan in 2003 and 2004. The corresponding isolate, A/Turkey/Suzdalka/Nov-1/05, from turkey spleen was highly pathogenic for chickens in the laboratory intravenous pathogenicity index test. The origin of this H5N1 virus in western Siberia is not known. Migratory birds could have introduced this virus because western Siberia is located on a flyway of wild birds that migrate in the spring from southeastern Asia. [so, why didn't eastern Siberia, northeast China likewise suffer major outbreaks?] Highly pathogenic Asian H5N1 influenza virus in western Siberia demonstrates spread of these Asian viruses into new areas and suggests a larger geographic distribution.