Hemagglutinin gene of the recent influenza B virus detected in Mongolia
The first influenza B viruses in Mongolia in 2014 were detected in the 3rd week of 2014. We have sequenced HA gene of the newly detected virus and the phylogenetic analyses has shown that the B virus belonging to Victoria Lineage, 1A clade (Picture 1).
Picture 1. Dendrogram of B/Ulaanbaatar/402/2014 strain(Ass. Number: EPI505124) which detected in the fourth week of 2014 compared with the vaccine strain for the 2013-14 season and strains representing HA clades (the designation of the Mongolian strains are blue, of the vaccine strain is red and of the strains representing HA genetic clades are green)
WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION SEEKS CONSULTANCY FROM MONGOLIA
Dr(Mrs) B.Darma, MD, PhD, Head, Virology Laboratory, NIC, NCCD, MoH, Mongolia and Chief Laboratory Specialist, MoH, Mongolia has left Ulaanbaatar on February 5, 2014 to Vientiane, Laos, for a consultancy there for 3 months. Dr B.Darma has been called by WHO WPRO to serve as the short-term consultant at WHO Office in Vientiane, Laos to advise on laboratory-based influenza surveillance in Laos.
Dr B.Darma has started her dedication to health service of Mongolia in 1982 as a physician’s assistant in the 1st sub-district of Shine-jinst somon, Bayankhongor province after graduation from the Medical College in Ulaanbaatar. She has entered into the medical microbiology service of Mongolia as an assistant lecturer in the Department of Microbiology, Mongolian Medical University (MMU) after graduating from the Medical Faculty, MMU in 1992. Dr B.Darma has been appointed in 1999 as a virologist in the newly established Virology Laboratory, NCCD, since then she is working for 15 years as an virologist in the biggest virology reference laboratory in Mongolia. Since 2006 she is the head of the Virology Laboratory, NCCD.
Dr B.Darma has been trained in the WHO special course on microbiology, immunology and vaccinology of infectious diseases at the Lausanne University, Switzerland in 2002, on influenza virology at the WHO Reference Center for Influenza, CDC, Atlanta, USA in 2003-2004 and 2007, on avian influenza diagnostic procedures at the WHO Reference Center for Influenza, NIID, Tokyo, Japan in 2006, on NIC information flow management at the WHO WPRO, Manila, Philippines, and on genomics and bio-informatics of influenza viruses at the WHO Reference Center for Influenza, Melbourne, Australia in 2013. Dr B.Darma has defended PhD degree in 2008 with her study on biological and genetic characterization of influenza virus strains isolated in Mongolia in 2004-2007. She has been honoured with MoH award “Outstanding Health Worker” in 2006, and MoH award “Outstanding medical Researcher” in 2008. Dr Darma is the Secretary of Mongolian Virology Society and member, Editorial Board, Mongolian Journal of Infectious Diseases Research since 2008 and Chief Laboratory Specialist, MoH, Mongolia since 2013. We are confident, our Laotian colleagues will greatly benefit from Dr B.Darma’s experiences in Mongolia to improve the laboratory-based influenza surveillance in Laos and wish her every success in her noble duty serving people’s health in the Region.