Expert clarifies comments on supposed NZ swine flu origins

The American scientist quoted in recent news reports as claiming the A(H1N1) virus originated in “either New Zealand or China” says he was misquoted by a US publication leading to the confusion.

“The statement was based on early phylogenetic analysis of available sequences. It was misquoted,” Professor Gus Kousoulas of the School of Veterinary Sciences at Lousiana University told the Science Media Centre.

“There is no basis currently to support a New Zealand origin.  While we still do not know the true origin, a US or Mexico origin is more likely,” he added.

The original article in the Louisiana newspaper The Advocate is available here.