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Friday, June 25, 2010

Novel Swine Influenza Virus Reassortants in Pigs, China

From CDC, excerpt with the conclusion, but please read the whole informative study :

" Abstract

During swine influenza virus surveillance in pigs in China during 2006–2009, we isolated subtypes H1N1, H1N2, and H3N2 and found novel reassortment between contemporary swine and avian panzootic viruses. These reassortment events raise concern about generation of novel viruses in pigs, which could have pandemic potential.


Influenza A subtypes H1N1, H1N2, and H3N2 viruses co-circulate in China. Genetic analysis showed that the single subtype H1N2 virus and all subtype H3N2 viruses examined were either double- or triple-reassortant viruses, which have been rarely documented in China. Finding a gene fragment ostensibly of highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N1) virus in a subtype H3N2 virus implies that subtype H5N1 viruses may be able to contribute genes to virus pathogenic processes in pigs. Moreover, European avian-like swine (H1N1) virus undergoes reassortment with avian (H9N2) viruses.

Some researchers have hypothesized that pigs may serve as hosts for genetic reassortment between human and avian influenza viruses. Our results show that subtypes H3N2 and H1N2 and 1 European avian-like swine (H1N1) virus were all derived from relatively recent reassortment events. The gene fragments of the subtype H3N2 viruses comprised those of human subtype H3N2 (A/Victoria/75-like and A/Moscow/99-like) and the strains H1N1 classical swine, Eurasian H5N1, and H9N2 avian. Infection of pigs with avian H5N1 and H9N2 viruses in China has been reported, and swine H1 and H3 viruses appear widely established in the pig population in China and elsewhere in Southeast Asia. These findings raise more questions about the generation of novel viruses, which may have zoonotic potential, in pigs."

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