They confirm the presence of bird flu in Antarctica for the first time

The presence of highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses, This is the first time the substance has been detected in dead birds in Antarctica.This was confirmed by researchers from the Severo Ochoa Center for Molecular Biology of the Spanish Higher Scientific Research Council (CSIC).

The entity’s scientists, Angela Vazquez and Antonio Alcami, confirmed after analysis on Saturday that two samples collected by Argentine scientists near the Antarctic base of Primavera, CSIC reported in a press release on Sunday. The virus was present in samples from skuas carcasses. .

this discoverydepending on the organization, National polar programs will be allowed to prepare to avoid the spread of infections through human-made means Most importantly, avoid infecting others.

Viruses are inactivated immediately

According to CSIC, a team of scientists led by CSIC researcher Antonio Alcamí confirmed that in two samples collected while working at the Spanish Gabriel de Castilla Antarctic base on the island of Decepcion The virus exists. Measures to prevent the spread of the virus to humans.

Once taken, The virus in their bodies is immediately inactivated so that research can be conducted safely. They were transported under maximum security by an Argentinian ship of the Joint Antarctic Patrol to a Spanish base, where they were analyzed by Vazquez and Alkami.

Analysis concluded that these birds were infected with H5 subtype avian influenza At least one contained a highly pathogenic virus.

These analyzes include specific PCR for influenza viruses and the H5 subtype, followed by sequencing of the protease-cleaved region, providing 100% certainty of the presence of highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses.

This confirmation was made possible thanks to international cooperation, in particular with Argentina, and coordination with the Spanish Polar Commission.

The International Antarctic Organization’s Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) and the Committee for the Administration of National Antarctic Programs (Comnap) have also collaborated and have notified the findings as required by the Antarctic Treaty.

There is no virus in Antarctica

The discovery proves for the first time that the virus has reached Antarctica This could also explain Antarctic summer bird deaths, despite the distance and natural barriers between it and other continents.

This variant has been found in many places in the northern hemisphere and, since last year, also in the southern hemisphere.

This virus was recently described on a subantarctic island, but To date, no country has proven this to be the case, although mass die-offs of some birds have been reported. of said virus within Antarctic territory.

The Council noted that Spain launched a protocol against highly pathogenic avian influenza in Antarctica last November, before the operation began, and that all participants in the program strictly adhered to it.

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