FluForecast(R) Trial in 2006 Predicted High Human H5N1 Mortality in Indonesia

May 09, 2007, 01:00 ET from Replikins

    BOSTON, May 9 /PRNewswire/ -- When H5N1 was thought to be quiescent in
 2006, in a prospective open trial, FluForecast(R), a software program which
 measures virus gene proteins, predicted high human mortality H5N1 outbreaks
 to come (2). In addition, FluForecast technology predicted that the leading
 country in which these outbreaks would occur would be Indonesia. Both
 predictions have now been found to be correct. The basis of these
 predictions, that unique virus structures relate quantitatively to high
 host mortality, has now also been demonstrated independently in laboratory
     The FluForecast software program, developed by Replikins Ltd. to give
 advanced warning of influenza outbreaks, measures quantitatively the
 concentration of a new class of virus peptides, called Replikins, shown to
 be related to rapid replication and epidemics. (see footnotes 1,2, and 3).
 FluForecast has been used to identify, or isolate 'in silico,' the area of
 the virus genome which contains the highest concentration of replikins;
 this area is now called the Replikin Peak Gene. It has now become possible
 to measure quantitatively the replikin concentration (Replikin Count, or
 number of replikins per 100 amino acids) in the Replikin Peak Gene (RPG) of
 all H5N1 virus isolates whose amino acid sequences are published annually
 in PubMed. It is now possible to determine whether the RPG gene in a given
 virus isolate is relatively 'quiescent' or more active, i.e. 'upregulated.'
     While the Replikin Count of the whole virus had previously been found
 by Replikins, Ltd. to correlate with virus epidemics and outbreaks, the RPG
 gene, with a four-fold concentration of replikins, magnifies the
 differences. It is also now possible to compare the RPG in different hosts.
 The H5N1 virus RPG in humans has increased nine-fold from 2004 to 2006, and
 in 2006 was found to exceed the RPG in other hosts, eg. goose, duck and
 chicken. Similarly, it was possible to compare the RPG in each country, for
 each host. In this way it was found that the RPG upregulation in Indonesia
 for human H5N1 in 2006 was more than double that in Thailand and three to
 six times that in Japan, Russia, China and Vietnam. Thus the data in 2006
 predicted both higher H5N1 human mortality rates, and that this would occur
 predominately in Indonesia. Both predictions have been realized in 2007
 (footnote 4).
     In addition to these epidemiological studies, the hypothesis that host
 mortality rate can be predicted by virus Replikin Count has now been tested
 and confirmed in the laboratory. For each of four strains of Taura syndrome
 virus of shrimp, the Replikin Count was determined and compared by
 FluForecast. Separately, the laboratory determined blind, that is without
 knowledge of the order of virulence predicted by replikin analysis, the
 comparative actual mortality rates in shrimp achieved by each of the four
 virus strains. In the laboratory, these four strains were found to have
 increasing mortality rates in the following order: Venezuela, Hawaii,
 Thailand and Belize. Point-to-point linear statistically significant
 correlation was found between the Replikin Count and the mortality rate of
 each of the four strains.
     Thus for two different viruses, H5N1 and Taura, acting in two different
 hosts, human and shrimp respectively, a quantitative correlation of virus
 Replikin Count and host mortality rate has been found. To our knowledge,
 this is the first time that this type of quantitative relationship has been
 demonstrated. These proof-of-concept experiments, added to those previously
 reported, further confirm the relationship of this new class of virus
 peptides, replikins, to rapid replication, to epidemics, and to mortality
 rates. The data also illustrates the use of FluForecast to provide advance
 warning of, and thus permit better control of, virus outbreaks (footnote 5)
     Footnotes: 1. Bogoch S and Bogoch ES. Replikins: The Chemistry of Rapid
 Replication.Begell Press, New York, 2005. 2. website: replikins.com
 (http://www.replikins.com) 3. FluForecast(R) is a service of Replikins,
 Ltd. 4. World health Organization: Earth Times.org. April 26, 2007;
 ScientificAmerican.com. May 6, 2007; VOA News.com, May 7,2007; Jakarta
 Post, May 8, 2007. 5. In the first quarter of 2007, the quantitative
 FluForecast Replikin Count for the Replikin Peak Gene of human H5N1 virus
 has not yet decreased, as it has been found to do when other influenza
 epidemics have run their course.
     Contact: John McKenney, Replikins, LLC. Boston, MA. tel: 617-536-0220;
 email: jmckenney@replikins.com
     This release was issued through eReleases(TM). For more information,
 visit http://www.ereleases.com.

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