We know there are going to be focal areas that are going to be outbreak areas, but we can't guess where or what magnitude they're going to be
Boston, MA (PRWEB) August 3, 2007
Replikins LLC. has discovered a new group of virus structural peptides within virus proteins, called replikins, which provide virus-specific advance quantitative warnings of rapid replication and the risk of epidemics. Replikins LLC has developed software called ReplikinsForecastTM, which quantitatively measures the concentration of these specific peptides in virus proteins (Replikin CountTM). Increased Replikin Counts give advanced warning by frequently preceding a virus outbreak by one or two years, and return to lower levels in advance of quiescent periods. Analysis just completed by Replikins LLC of the most currently available West Nile virus protein sequences world wide listed on PubMed indicates that the Replikin CountTM has increased over the past seven years to reach in 2006 its highest level recorded, indicating the potential for even more severe West Nile Virus outbreaks with higher mortality rates to come.
The CDC has commented on the inability to date to predict eruption of outbreaks or their magnitude: "We know there are going to be focal areas that are going to be outbreak areas, but we can't guess where or what magnitude they're going to be" (reference 1). "Yet despite nationwide efforts to fight and track West Nile virus, it can't be predicted whether the mosquito-borne disease is poised to increase, decline or erupt in occasional outbreaks now that it has settled in across the nation" (reference 2).
Replikins, LLC is regularly making accurate predictions for influenza viruses (reference 3) and according to the present findings, may also be able to do so for West Nile Virus. The methodology previously used successfully by Replikins LLC with influenza viruses, has now been applied to West Nile Virus. The Replikin Count of WNV (number of replikins per 100 amino acids) has been found to have increased from 2.8 in 2000, to 3.8 in 2004, to 4.5 in 2005, to 6.0 in 2006 (statistically significant, p values < 0.001). If the relationships to outbreaks previously demonstrated for influenza virus replikins apply as well to West Nile Virus replikins, this data indicates that the immediate prospect is for more severe West Nile Virus outbreaks with higher mortality rates.
ReplikinForecastTM is a proprietary exclusive service offered by Replikins LLC. and Ltd. for the advanced warning of, and to track, emerging viruses and other infectious organisms. In Replikins's Early Warning/Rapid ResponsetTM Service, virus protein sequences of threatening viruses, as soon as available, are analyzed within hours(reference 4).
1 The Arizona Republic, July 19, 2007
2 Sacramento Bee, July 31, 2007
3 High Replikin Counts in H5N1 virus are associated with high mortality in humans infected with H5N1. In the laboratory, high Replikin Counts in Taura shrimp viruses are also quantitatively related to high mortality rates in shrimp (p < 0.001). The virus Replikin Peak Gene (RPG), that section of the virus genome which contains the highest concentration of replikins (p < 0.001), also has been isolated in silico. Analysis of RPG permits a more accurate forecast, and comparison of the virulence of the current and past versions of the organism. (see Replikins' website for more information).
Earlier work by Replikins LLC on influenza has shown that the concentration of replikins in the virus correlates quantitatively with each of the pandemics and major outbreaks of influenza virus since 1918, and has predicted prospectively each of the outbreaks of H5N1 bird flu virus since 2000. When H5N1 was thought by some investigators to be quiescent, FluForecast®, using the Replikin Peak Gene, predicted in 2006: 1) that a higher human mortality outbreak was imminent, and further: 2) that the primary country in which this outbreak would occur would be Indonesia. In 2007, both these predictions were found to be correct. To our knowledge, no other methods are available which could accurately have made these predictions.
4 Replikins LLC also has strain-specific synthetic vaccines in development, which based upon the replikins analysis have been tailored, produced and delivered for testing in days.
Contact: John McKenney, Replikins LLC. 38 The Fenway, Boston MA 02215
Tel: 617-536-0220. email: JMcKenney (@) Replikins.com