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Lethal Human H5N1 Influenza Virus Replikin Gene Still Upregulated
Date:12/11/2007

BOSTON, Dec. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Replikins Ltd. today announced its latest findings regarding the virus replikin count in human H5N1 influenza virus. The company's software-driven analysis has found that the prevalence of these sequences has remained high in Indonesia; in addition, higher counts now have been found in China. These statistics reflect an "upregulation" of this gene which has been linked to the lethality of influenza viruses. When factored in with previous findings, this suggests that the H5N1 outbreak in Indonesia is not over and that the next country to show an increase in human cases and mortality rate will be China.

This is the second of a series of reports on the use of a new methodology to isolate "in silico" and to track and control specific replikin gene activity in several disease states.

A software method, called FluForecast(R), has been designed to measure Replikins(TM), a class of proteins containing high concentrations of amino acids lysine and histidine, that have been determined to be related to rapid replication and virulence. Rather than being evenly distributed in the virus genome, replikins have been found to be concentrated in specific genomic areas. The area of each genome with the highest concentration of continuous replikin peptides has been isolated in silico and named a Replikin Peak Gene (RPG). Using proprietary computer algorithms constructed to identify, count, and track historically this class of proteins, replikins have now been analyzed in 130,488 protein and genome sequences. These include all the accession numbers for common strains of influenza and other lethal virus isolations published between 1917 and 2007 in the PubMed repository. The method is being applied to the diagnostic and therapeutic control of virus and bacterial diseases.

When the replikin count of the SARS virus dropped in 2003, it signaled correctly that the SARS outbreak shortly would be over. Similarly for each of the influenza pandemics and epidemics of the last century, for which the replikin count had been elevated before and during those outbreaks, decrease in the strain-specific replikin count which was causing the outbreak gave advance notice that the outbreak was over. For H5N1 influenza, each of the onsets and cessations of the outbreaks from 1997 to the present were correctly predicted by the replikin count. In 2006 a drop in the number of human H5N1 cases gave rise to optimism that the H5N1 human outbreak might be over; the replikin counts rose at that point, however, and the outbreak has continued. In addition, comparison of replikin counts for virus specimens in several countries showed that the highest counts were in Indonesia. In 2006 Replikins also announced its prediction that the percent mortality in humans due to this virus, rather than declining, would in fact increase, and that the first country in which this would occur would be Indonesia. In 2007, both of these predictions made in 2006 were shown to be correct.

The current persistence of the upregulation of the H5N1 replikin peak gene in Indonesia, and its additional increase in China, support continuing efforts to organize public health measures and to prepare appropriate anti-viral drugs and vaccines.

Detailed data from these studies are published in issued and pending patents. FluForecast(R) is a product and service of Replikins Ltd. and Replikins, LLC, 38 The Fenway, Boston MA 02215. See also http://www.replikins.com. Contact: sbogoch@replikins.com; Tel. 646-320-5910; 617-536-0220.

This release was issued through eReleases(TM). For more information, visit http://www.ereleases.com.


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SOURCE Replikins Ltd.
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