The biochemistry of rapid replication
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  REPLIKINS PRESS RELEASE No. 7 November 6, 2006
Rising Human H5N1 ‘Bird Flu’ High-Virulence Sequences Found By Replikins, Ltd. (November 6, 2006)

BOSTON, November 6 /PR Newswire/ Replikins, Ltd. has completed a comprehensive quantitative analysis of H5N1 ‘bird flu’ peptide sequences found in humans infected with H5N1 in the past nine years.

See also http://www.redorbit.com/news/health/721069/
rising_h5n1_bird_flu_highvirulence_sequences_found_by_replikins_ltd/index.html

The data, obtained from public sources, included 1,455 complete sequences from human specimens. The company has found a continuous and statistically significant increase in the concentration of peptide sub-sequences (previously linked to epidemics) in the H5N1 virus over the past nine years, suggesting a heightened potential for an epidemic outbreak in humans. The replikin concentration in H5N1 has been found to rise steadily, by a factor of 2.5 over the period covered, from 1997 to 2006, from a mean count of 1.9 to the current count of 4.8 units per 100 amino acids (Replikin Count™).

Over the period covered by the study, the mortality rate in human H5N1 cases has in fact also increased by a multiple (2.3 times), from 26 percent in 1997 to 60 percent in 2006, a rise comparable to the increase in the concentration of the replikin sub sequences.

While a direct causal relationship has not yet been shown, each previous increase in the concentration of replikin protein sub-sequences in flu viruses has been associated with strain-specific influenza epidemics that have occurred in the great pandemics of the last century: in 1918, 1957 and 1968. The same structure of the replikin peptide  
sub-sequences in influenza now can be traced back from the present to 1917. This conserved structure may be a  key to the design of synthetic vaccines whose composition would not have to be changed every year.

Using proprietary technology, Replikins, Ltd. has discovered and defined a group of virus protein sub-sequences – called replikins – which can be used to predict whether a virus is rapidly replicating and whether it is likely to spread.

Replikins, Ltd. has also developed software (FluForecast®) which can now detect and count these proteins, which may allow scientists to better predict outbreaks of viral epidemics including H5N1.

Such predictions have been made correctly in advance by the company for the last three ‘bird flu’ (H5N1) outbreaks from 2002 to the present. Prior to this discovery, no protein or other biological phenomenon has been found to correlate directly and quantitatively with viral epidemics. As a result, researchers have had no means to predict if, and what strain of a given viral organism will become a public health threat. The current concern over when or if there will be an avian flu epidemic in humans has drawn attention to the need for improved measures to help predict, prevent and prepare for emerging health threats.

Dr. Sam Bogoch, Founder of Replikins, Ltd. explained that the finding in human H5N1 virus is significant because, “Combined with the software that analyzes viral strains, we now — for the first time — have an objective quantitative means of determining the threat level of a virus.” 

“To our knowledge, there is no other product which provides this quantitative predictive information.” In explaining how the Replikins proteins were identified Dr. Bogoch, who also founded the Neurochemistry Laboratory at Harvard Medical School, said, “After discovering the relationship of the structure of the sub-sequence replikin peptides to rapid replication in other infectious organisms, we focused on the influenza virus, because the CDC has epidemiological data available going back nearly 100 years. We discovered that a consistent sub-sequence of peptides increased in concentration in all influenza virus outbreaks.”



REPLIKINS PRESS RELEASE No. 8 December 27, 2006
Human H5N1 Virus Replikin Count overtakes levels in H5N1
'Bird Flu' (December 27, 2006)


See also http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/59855.php

A common question asked at current scientific conferences is: 'where did bird flu go?' The recent decrease in reported H5N1 human cases and bird outbreaks might indicate that the virus has become dormant. However, quantitative analysis by Replikins, Ltd. of human H5N1 virus sequences in 2006 has found that the Replikin Count™ has significantly increased beyond all annual previous levels reported in chickens and humans.

Boston, MA (PRWeb) December 27, 2006 - A common question asked at current scientific conferences is: 'where did bird flu go?'

The recent decrease in reported H5N1 human cases and bird outbreaks might indicate that the virus has become dormant. However, quantitative analysis by Replikins, Ltd. of human H5N1 virus sequences in 2006 has found that the Replikin Count™ has significantly increased beyond all annual previous levels reported in chickens and humans. The Replikin Count™ determined by virus protein software analysis, provides an index of the capacity for virus rapid replication. The Replikin Count™ is defined as the number of replikin peptide sequences per 100 amino acids of virus protein, that is concentration, and is independent of the number of specimens examined.

Rather than declining, the Replikin Count™ in humans in 2006 has risen 35% over that in 2005, and outstripped the Count in all reported chicken H5N1 virus specimens, both with reference to the mean and the range, of the peptideWith the rise in Replikin Count™ in human H5N1, (3.7(+/-4.1) in 2005 to 5.0(+/-5.9) in 2006, p<0.002), the human Count exceeds that for H5N1 in chickens, which after rising from 2003, has been constant (3.2(+/-2.8) in 2005, and 3.2(+/-3.1) in 2006. The Replikin Count™ in H5N1 is now seen to have risen steadily, by a factor of 3.9 from the 1998 Replikin Count? of 1.3(+/-0.4) in chickens to the Replikin Count? in humans in 2006 of 5.0(+/-5.9) (p<0.001). The Replikin Count in the 1918 H1N1 influenza pandemic was 7.0. The mortality rate in human H5N1 cases has also increased 2.3 times, from 26 percent in 1997-98 to approximately 60 percent in 2006.

The increase in Replikin Count™ could have provided early warning of the last three H5N1 bird outbreaks (2001-2006). It was also found to precede or was an early association of the three influenza human pandemics (1918 (H1N1), 1957 (H2N2) and 1968 (H3N2), and the H5N1 outbreak in Hong Kong (1997) (see www.replikins.com for detailed data).

In contrast to H5N1, Replikin Count™ analyses of H3N2 influenza virus (the cause of the pandemic of 1968) has decreased (2.7(+/-0.6) in 2005 to 0.8(+/-1) in 2006, p<0.001). Such decreases have been associated with periods of relative viral quiescence.

“This rise in human H5N1 Replikin Count suggests that the replication rate of this virus in humans continues to increase. Humans may be becoming a preferred host for H5N1” according to Dr. Sam Bogoch, Chairman of Replikins, Ltd.   

“The Replikin Count™ is specific to the virus strain, the host species, and the region, and can be used to indicate the threat level of a particular virus. We know of no other quantitative measures of particular peptide sequences of virus proteins, or of any other chemical constituent, which have this correlative and predictive value” he said. 

In addition to FluForecast®, Replikins, Ltd. has enlisted an international ‘Replikins Group’ of several universities and research institutions to test the effect of its potential synthetic replikins vaccines and other products against these new targets related to rapid replication in H5N1 and other virus disorders.


Learn more  

Dr. Sanjay Gupta of CNN reports on Replikins

Synthetic flu vaccine option?

2009 report on Replikins and the potential of synthetic vaccine technology to improve on traditional vaccine approaches.

 

The Science:
Replikins in H1N1

Hemagglutinin

A recent Nature Precedings paper shows the location of Replikins peptides on the surface of the active Hemagglutinin portion of the H1N1 virus.