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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

H5N1 "Novel" Virus Created At Kobe University By Yoshihiro Kawaoka And PhD Student Teridah Ernala Ginting : E-mails

Creator of H5N1/H1N1 "novel" virus relates story of subterfuge, illegal activity, coercion, extortion and threats at Kobe University under Yoshihiro Kawaoka in e-mails to The 5th Estate

THE 5TH ESTATE
By Robert S. Finnegan
01/03/2012

Editor's Note: This young Indonesian "scientist" through the years of our contact revealed to me the inner-workings of her "secret" lab at Kobe University and a new BSL-4 in Tokyo that was working on H5N1 and H1N1 viruses, among others. Kobe University does NOT officially have a BSL-4 lab, and yet this microbiologist was assigned by her professor Yoshihiro Kawaoka to work on recombinant H5N1 and H1N1 in a "secret" (her words) lab at their facility. How and why was this allowed to transpire? I have kept our association secret for years, however now that this individual has gone over to the "dark side," and I have decided to reveal everything we discussed in the hope it may stop this ghastly, man-made weaponized virus that is capable of killing millions of innocent people across the world.



PhD student Teridah Ernala, second from left and Kawaoka
The Japanese "professors" and "directors" of these nefarious 
projects preyed upon a young, incredibly naive and 
inexperienced Indonesian virologists to do their dirty-work
Something very wrong has taken place at Kobe University virology laboratories with 
the illegal weaponisation of H1N1 and H5N1 - among others. Below are e-mails from one of Yoshihiro's young Phd virologist Terida Ernala, who corresponded with the author over several years on her work there and her deep misgivings about it.

The e-mails will not be corrected for spelling, punctuation or format - and are republished in the original.


The graphs and charts accompanied Ernala's e-mails. 

Tuesday, 5 May, 2009 12:23
From:
To:
seanews1@yahoo.com
Message contains attachments

Robert,

I tried to find clues of H5N1 prior to 1997. I searched the sequences published at GenBank. There are some birds H5N1 submitted prior 1997, but sometimes H5N1 in birds doesn't cause illness. The the first documented case human report was 1997.

I found other reference about 1918 flu, written By Barry 


Interestingly, the author named 1918 virus as "1918 virus", he never mentioned it as H1N1. Meanwhile he clearly stated H5N1 or H7N7 when talking about those strains.

Yesterday I made a rough phylogenic tree of recent mexico flu, 1918 flu, some avian, swine and human strains H1N1 - based on HA gene. You can see the location of 1918 flu among other strains. I should make tree based on other gene, not HA, to see the relation to H5N1.

Again the tree is rough, any virologist who see that probably will blaming me :)

I would like to see you and your wife, Robert. But currently I'm studying in Japan. I'm returning to Indonesia pretty often, usually to bird flu lab in Surabaya (Dr Nidom's laboratory), to do some works.

Next time I return to Indonesia, I'll try to visit Jakarta and have lunch with you.

About Garut, what do you know about this? How's the people there? Is there any human victims? Can you help me if you hear anything about human infection?

As I mentioned before, I worked also in a bird flu project of Indonesia. You know Mrs Supari the Health Minister refused to report any cases to WHO. I made the blog to uncover Indonesia situation to the world, to let people help us. But what I can do is telling story based on newspaper, I wish I could investigate by my self.

Tamiflu or Relenza is still the best drug for bird flu. Indonesia isolate has no resistancy to Tamiflu. Is it difficult to find tamiflu there? I think Ministry of Health has stocked lot of Tamiflu everywhere. But if necessary I will try to find a way to get the drugs here.

I found some news saying that Indonesia was hit by pandemic flu 1918. Some reported in Makassar and Bali. If we can get the sample of Indonesia 1918 pandemic, or maybe collecting serum from survived people (probably they're already 90-100year-old), we can get evidence about the cause of the disease. How can we do that? I'm still thinking..

I don't know Hermawan Sulistyo or Raymond Touran. Who are they? If they're working for government, I can ask information to Dr Nidom and team.

Ida

Tuesday, 5 May, 2009 13:59

From:

"Ida - Teridah Ernala" <ida_lutu@yahoo.com>
To: seanews1@yahoo.com

This are some reference of first human H5N1 in Hongkong. It seems the case happened around the December 1997. Some fatal and some recovered:


About the Garut cases, I have some reference also based on newspaper. If you check the BFIC blog, I found several suspect case waiting for result confirmation. But the government didn't release the result.

For example 2009 case in Bogor, brother and sister possibly died of bird flu. noone believe me without good source. 

And recent case in Riau April:


No result released until now. Litbangkes RI is doing all the test, and keeping all samples. It's because they don't trust any other country to do the test. I wish they could trust me (as only Indonesian studying bird flu abroad), but I don't have any power and position to ask for it.

I'm trying to update the blog everyday, to get clue of Indonesia situation. You can check it anytime.

After the mexico H1N1, Indonesia newspapers seem to busy covering it. And forgetting the already circulating H5N1 in Indonesia. Indonesia Ministry of Health reallocated budget and research of bird flu to pig flu. I'm worrying this. People in Indonesia should realize the threat of H5N1 and put priority in this first. That's why if you can find any source or information who can provide the test result and situation in Indonesia, it will be great.

For the phylogenic tree, it may need further check. Because I made it roughly (but relies on the published sequences at the genbank), with my standard PC. Some other virologist with sophisticated software and highly advanced hardware may have the better one. About my work for outbreak, I don't know if it's good enough to be published :)) Hey I'm only reading the news and summarizing into english.

Also Robert, if you have chance to check some survivors of Indonesia 1918 flu, it will be great. Maybe it's impossible for you to get their blood samples. But if we can only get the data of persons who experienced the pandemic, that will be cool. At least next time we'll find the way to get their blood samples.

Ida
Tuesday, 5 May, 2009 20:02
From:
To:
seanews1@yahoo.com

Robert,

Thank's for the article. It's very interesting.

Regarding to the Mexican flu, I have feeling that we cannot blame the pigs. There's impossible a new strain suddenly pop-up into the world. It take hundred of years to complete the evolution. I assumed there was something wrong with the vaccination they used in Mexico, or some lab strain 'escaped'. 

This article gives me confidence about vaccine theory.

Ida

Now, Teridah Ernala has what appears to be the first signs of doubt or guilt about her work for Kawaoka and the University of Kobe:

Tuesday, 5 May, 2009 20:35
From:
To:
seanews1@yahoo.co

Robert,

Do you mind to give me a clue about "a person" that you talked about? 

Because, it's a shame for me, but I'm doing reverse genetic technology also in my research. Currently, I'm creating an H1N1 human virus and manipulating the genes to study its transmission capability. For my self, I'm doing this purely for purpose of study. My professor is Yoshihiro Kawaoka, he and Neumann established this technology in 1997. The same technique which Taunberger used to ressurrect 1918 virus.

This whole story made me think about what I am right now (our emphasis).

Ida


E-mail attachment from Teridah Ernala

Wednesday, 6 May, 2009 01:26
From:
To:
seanews1@yahoo.com

I think I should introduce my background a little bit.

I'm a veterinarian, graduated from Institut Pertanian Bogor (IPB) 2004 as the top student of the year. At the end of my DVM course, the first H5N1 hit Indonesia chickens (which we were free from the disease before). I led my class to South SUlawesi to do surveillance at that moment.

After graduation, IPB developed a collaboration with Japan company to produce H5N1 vaccine based on reverse genetic system. The university offered me the job.

In 2005, Japan part took me to their main factory in Japan. They taught me everything about vaccine production. And then I returned to Indonesia to develop Indonesia factory.

The company didn't work well, we never sell any product because we couldn't get license (complicated story). 

In 2007, Japan government granted me scholarship for PhD course. I went to Tottori University to study influenza virus.

In 2008, Kobe University-Airlangga University Avian Influenza Project was established. I was then transferred to Kobe university for the purpose of this project. The project leader is Yoshihiro Kawaoka (professor of Univ Wisconsin-Madison, also Tokyo University and Kobe University).

And here I am.

You see I have very strong background of H5N1, I'm here without no reason. I believe that I will solve the problem in my country. Reading the news from here, always making me want to finish school as soon as possible, to return home, to dedicate my life at home. You know, my family name is Ginting. I'm a Karonese. The family name of Indonesia H5N1 cluster 2006. 

Analyse this. How many Indonesian experiencing H5N1 from the first it emerged in Indonesia until now? How many Indonesian studying this virus abroad, under a top flu professor? How about making vaccine, how many Indonesian knows very well how to do that? How many Karonese in Indonesia, and how many Ginting among them?

I don't know if you believe in a Creator. But I do. I believe I have purpose in my life that the Creator's leading me to. That's simply me. If you suspected someone that I know, I better know it. So I know where I'm standing at.

I'm studying the current circulating oseltamivir human H1N1 virus. About 80% human H1N1 is oseltamivir resistant, and increasing by years. This virus transmitted rapidly, without any history of drug use. I used the recent oseltamivir resistant strain and return its genetic characteristic of two genes, HA and NA, into previous virus before it was highly transmissible. I constructed several strains with different mutation and check which mutation in which gene is responsible for this rapid transmission. So far, I haven't tested the virus, only to cell culture. In future I will use human trachea cell line, and animal experiment. This experiment has taken one year up to now, started long before mexico flu emerged. Instead of this experiment, I have some others, and also the works of Indonesia H5N1 in Surabaya lab.

I'm sure my viruses have no relation with current Mexico virus. I'm sure I'm doing good laboratory practice and the strain is completely different. 

It's up to you if you believe me or not. If I'm hiding something, I don't have to ask you anything from beginning.

Ida
 

Re: Tanah karo cluster

Wednesday, 6 May, 2009 11:55
From:
To:
seanews1@yahoo.com

Thank you Robert,

After hanging around with non-indonesian, sometimes I hate to hear what people are saying about Indonesia. The image of low educated, poor and corruption are the most things I heard. I want to prove everyone who Indonesians really are.

About the person we're speaking, I dont know. I was just wondering who. Because my professor, Kawaoka, has close relation with other scientists such as Taunberger, so I asked you. But let's forget it :)

I will tell you everything I know about my work and my self. I will talk about that later. Also you an ask me anything, I'll try to answer if I can. Remember that I'm only a rookie among the greats, my knowledge is nothing compare to them. I haven't had any publication of my own work, because everything is still ongoing.

About writing book of me, it's too far to go. You better write about someone else :). Even though I'm running as fast as I can. I don't know if I can contribute something for the world, but I'm trying hard. Mostly, I'm spending 7 days a week, 12 hours/day in the lab and remaining 12 hours in front of computer and sleeping. I have no social life, no private life and friends here. After the blog became the world's source for Indonesia H5N1 news, then I met some people. Like you.

I'll come back to you later, Robert.

Ida
Re: Tanah karo cluster
Wednesday, 6 May, 2009 23:08
From:
To:
seanews1@yahoo.com

Robert,

I am now (in order of priority):

1. A PhD student in Microbiology and Infection Department, Division of Zoonosis, Graduate School of Medicine, Kobe University.

Our lab, even though named as Zoonosis Division, is an influenza lab. The head of the lab is Dr Yoshihiro Kawaoka, the associate professor is Dr Kyoko Shinya. Dr Kawaoka is never staying in our lab cos he's also the professor of Biomedical Science Tokyo University and Department of Virology Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison, also professor in St Jude Children Research Hospital. Dr Kawaoka always too busy, either in US or Tokyo. Mostly he's in US. He has close relation with other influenza researchers as Webster, Taunberger, Neumann, etc.

Our lab is new, just established on October 2007 (at that moment I was still in Tottori University). Dr Shinya is the main person in charge there, helped by assitant professor, Dr Akiko Makino (an ebola virus researcher). Our lab is also somehow special, only two students there, one is Japanese and me.

2. A researcher for CRC-ERID (I don't remember what it stands for ), but it's an institute for emerging and re-emerging disease research. It's funded by the RIKEN (a huge research development center). The CRC-ERID has joint collaboration with several countries to study several diseases. One of the country is Indonesia. For Indonesia it has works on dengue, malaria, typhoid fever, TB, etc and also avian influenza and other influenza. So I'm among the Indonesia project of influenza. For this purpose we work with Avian Influenza Laboratory, Tropical Disease Center, AIrlangga University Surabaya. The lab that I'm visiting when I'm going to Indonesia. The head of the lab is Dr Chairul Anwar Nidom, he's famous for avian influenza research. If you want to, I can introduce you to him.

My personal research themes are: the study of circulating oseltamivir resistant H1N1 virus (I mentioned before); the internalization of highly pathogenic H5N1 virus into cells; the study of PA gene of Indonesia human H5N1 virus in relation to its virulency; neuraminidase protein characteristic of horse influenza H3N8 which jumped and transferred its whole genome into dogs; and the pathogenicity of avian H5N1 virus to several local chicken breeds.

Too many subjects for a student, actually. Other students only have one subject, it's enough for graduation. Some may have two if one is not good enough. That's why I almost have no time for my self.

The project works where I'm involving at: surveillance and identification of recent circulating H5N1 in Indonesia; and serosurveillance of H5N1 antibody in poultry workers. Other research of Kawaoka and Nidom is study of H5N1 virus detected in 52 Indonesia pigs. Those themes have been presented in Asian Research Forum (a closed meeting) in Hokkaido December 2008 and Vietnam October 2008.

That's in general. You can ask me anything. :))

Ida

And one of the smoking guns:

Re: About Alaska 1997 H5N1

Tuesday, 12 May, 2009 05:52
From:
To:
seanews1@yahoo.com

I made several mutation in HA gene and one mutation in NA gene. Then made several virus combinations of those two genes.

From all combinations, they are growing effectively in MDCK (Madin Darby Canine Kidney) cell culture. I failed to grow one virus, I have tried three times but still failing. I assume this one may not able to grow in nature. To know if it's transmitted to human, I will use human trachea cell line later and ferret (usually used for studying influenza transmission in human). So I don't know if it's transmissible to human yet.

I'm working in BSL-2 laboratory, that's the requirement from the government because the original virus was only common H1N1. For H5N1 virus, I'm working in BSL-3 laboratory.

My experiment is confidential (please keep this only for you), noone except my professor and I know this (even we keep it secret from other lab members). Especially after the H1N1 emerged, my work will cause lot of trouble. We will go to the public after everything is set up.

Ida
    
The University of Kobe has not returned repeated requests for comment and has been offered access to all documentation should they wish to perform an internal investigation.  To be continued.



Robert S. Finnegan is a retired investigative reporter, journalism professor and U.S. Marine Corps NCO based in Jakarta, Indonesia.  He has been working this case since 1997 and may be reached at rsfinnegan@gmail.com.
 

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