Cats could be key in AI spread
The vast majority of human AI virus sequences isolated
in Indonesian patients do not match the poultry H5N1 data collected during the
same periods, sparking concerns that there may be an intermediary agent in bird
Recent testing on 91 samples taken between September 2005 and March 2006
failed to match Java poultry isolates with most of the sequences from patients.
Cats have emerged as a likely suspect, after a recent study showed that a throat
swab from an infected cat provided the only virus sequence that matched a
Recent research conducted by the Indonesian Environment Information Center
(PILI) in Yogyakarta found that stray cats had caught the H5N1 avian
virus through contact with infected poultry at traditional
The discovery of more H5N1 in cats in Indonesia raises the possibility that
the cats are also in contact with an alternate source of infection.
Sequence data on H5N1 from cats, and infected poultry in traditional markets,
including those in and around Jakarta, where most of the reported human cases
have been located, would help resolve the role of cats in H5N1
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