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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
06TOKYO1529
2006-03-23 09:23:00
UNCLASSIFIED
Embassy Tokyo
Cable title:  

AVIAN INFLUENZA: JAPAN WEEKLY REPORT MARCH 23

Tags:   TBIO  KFLU  KSTH  ECON  PREL  SOCI  WHO  JA 
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VZCZCXRO8988
PP RUEHHM RUEHLN RUEHPB
DE RUEHKO #1529/01 0820923
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 230923Z MAR 06
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0069
INFO RUEHZN/ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COLLECTIVE
RUEHHI/AMEMBASSY HANOI 0902
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 5281
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 5295
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 7911
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 8428
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 6463
RUEHRC/USDA FAS WASHDC 8211
RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
						UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 TOKYO 001529 

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AIAG AMBASSADOR LANGE
DEPT FOR OES/IHA SINGER AND FENDRICK
DEPT FOR EAP/J
USDA PASS TO APHIS
HHS PASS TO CDC
HHS FOR OGHA STEIGER, BHAT AND ELVANDER

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: TBIO KFLU KSTH ECON PREL SOCI WHO JA
SUBJECT: AVIAN INFLUENZA: JAPAN WEEKLY REPORT MARCH 23

REF: A. 05 STATE 153802


B. TOKYO 1397 AND PREVIOUS

C. 05 TOKYO 6538

D. TOKYO 1112

TOKYO 00001529 001.2 OF 002


UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 TOKYO 001529

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AIAG AMBASSADOR LANGE
DEPT FOR OES/IHA SINGER AND FENDRICK
DEPT FOR EAP/J
USDA PASS TO APHIS
HHS PASS TO CDC
HHS FOR OGHA STEIGER, BHAT AND ELVANDER

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: TBIO KFLU KSTH ECON PREL SOCI WHO JA
SUBJECT: AVIAN INFLUENZA: JAPAN WEEKLY REPORT MARCH 23

REF: A. 05 STATE 153802


B. TOKYO 1397 AND PREVIOUS

C. 05 TOKYO 6538

D. TOKYO 1112

TOKYO 00001529 001.2 OF 002



1. The following is an update on avian influenza (AI)
developments in Japan for the period March 16 to March 23.
No human or animal outbreaks of H5N1 avian influenza were
reported in Japan during the past week.

-- New Domestic AI Poultry Vaccine Developed --


2. On March 21, a research group from Hokkaido University
announced that it was successful in developing the first
domestic avian influenza vaccine for use in chickens.
After only one injection of the vaccine, the researchers
found that the level of antibodies in the chickens grew
exponentially after two weeks. The group hopes that this
new vaccine will be more effective and quicker than earlier
versions. They also hope that it will offer a back-up
alternative to the vaccines being currently imported by the
GOJ from overseas sources.


3. The research group used genetic portions from the H5N2
and H7N1 viruses discovered in Mongolia and created a new
non-virulent and non-infectious strain of H5N1. To see if
the new strain could function as a vaccine, the researchers
injected it into four-week-old chickens and then looked for
the presence of proteins specific to the influenza virus.
They were successful in detecting antibodies. To further
test for the new vaccine's efficacy, the group injected two
populations of chickens with an H5N1 strain detected
earlier in Yamaguchi Prefecture. All of the control group
chickens died within two weeks, and but all of the
inoculated chickens that received the new vaccine survived.
Finally, the researchers were able to confirm that enough
antibodies remained in the chickens six months later to
protect them from further infection. The group plans to
apply for Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
(MAFF) approval for the vaccine later this fall.

-- Interior Lung More Susceptible to AI --


4. A joint research group from Tokyo University's Institute
for Medical Sciences led by Professor Yoshihiro Kawaoka and
Tottori University discovered that a part of the interior
lung is particularly susceptible to infection by the avian
influenza virus. As a result, the group learned that the
virus could infect anyone. Previously, some thought that
due to individual differences, certain individuals might be
more predisposed to infection than others. The group
learned that a large amount of receptors that allow the
virus to bind are found in the alveoli. Because the virus
multiplies in the interior portions of the lungs where the
higher body temperatures are more suitable for avian
influenza replication, the researchers suggested that it
might be difficult to pass the virus from person to person
through coughing and sneezing. The results of the study
are to be reported in detail in Nature Magazine.

-- "Only Clean Blood, Please" --


5. On March 20, the Mito District Public Prosecutor's
Office brought charges against two employees of the IKN Egg
Farm Company and three veterinarians involved in the
tampering of avian influenza related poultry tests in
Ibaraki Prefecture. The court decided to suspend
sentencing for two of the employees who are charged with
complicity in obstructing the prefecture's investigations.
However, authorities rearrested all five employees again on
the same day on suspicion that they were in breach of their
duty to report outbreaks of infectious diseases in poultry
to authorities under the Domestic Animal Infectious
Diseases Control Law. During the prosecution, authorities
learned that the company's former chairman had ordered his
employees to "provide only clean blood" for the

TOKYO 00001529 002.2 OF 002


inspections. (For details on the case see reftels C and
D).

SCHIEFFER