Novel Swine Influenza Virus Reassortants in Pigs, China

China Agricultural University, Beijing, People's Republic of China.
Emerging Infectious Diseases (Impact Factor: 6.75). 07/2010; 16(7):1162-4. DOI: 10.3201/eid1607.091881
Source: PubMed


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.

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    • "The public health importance of influenza infections in swine arises from the fact that swine are susceptible to co-infections with multiple lineages of the influenza virus, which can generate novel strains via reassortment [8,11]. Reassortant viruses containing genes from pH1N1 and other influenza subtypes have already been isolated from swine in China, the United States, and the United Kingdom [7,12,13]. As a consequence there is concern that the next pandemic strain could arise in swine, although the spread of reassortant virus among humans would require further adaptation in order to replicate efficiently in humans and spread between them [14,15]. "
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    ABSTRACT: The 2009 pH1N1 influenza pandemic resulted in at least 18,500 deaths worldwide. While pH1N1 is now considered to be in a post-pandemic stage in humans it has nevertheless spilled back into swine in at least 20 countries. Understanding the factors that increase the risk of spillover events between swine and humans is essential to predicting and preventing future outbreaks. We assessed risk factors that may have led to spillover of pH1N1 from humans to swine in Cameroon, Central Africa. We sampled swine, domestic poultry and wild birds for influenza A virus at twelve sites in Cameroon from December 2009 while the pandemic was ongoing, to August 2012. At the same time we conducted point-count surveys to assess the abundance of domestic livestock and wild birds and assess interspecific contact rates. Random forest models were used to assess which variables were the best predictors of influenza in swine. We found swine with either active pH1N1 infections or positive for influenza A at four of our twelve sites. Only one swine tested positive by competitive ELISA in 2011-2012. To date we have found pH1N1 only in the North and Extreme North regions of Cameroon (regions in Cameroon are administrative units similar to provinces), though half of our sites are in the Central and Western regions. Swine husbandry practices differ between the North and Extreme North regions where it is common practice in to let swine roam freely, and the Central and Western regions where swine are typically confined to pens. Random forest analyses revealed that the three best predictors of the presence of pH1N1 in swine were contact rates between free-ranging swine and domestic ducks, contact rates between free-ranging swine and wild Columbiformes, and contact rates between humans and ducks. Sites in which swine were allowed to range freely had closer contact with other species than did sites in which swine were kept penned. Results suggest that the practice of allowing swine to roam freely is a significant risk factor for spillover of influenza from humans into swine populations.
    BMC Veterinary Research 03/2014; 10(1):55. DOI:10.1186/1746-6148-10-55 · 1.78 Impact Factor
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    • "From our swine influenza surveillance work from 2006 to 2009, samples were inoculated into specific pathogen free (SPF) eggs for viral isolation [8]. It was found that inoculated embryonated eggs of some SIV-positive isolates died during the isolation procedure. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Influenza virus virulence can be exacerbated by bacterial co-infections. Swine influenza virus (SIV) infection together with some bacteria is found to enhance pathogenicity. Methods SIV-positive samples suspected of containing bacteria were used for bacterial isolation and identification. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing was performed by disc diffusion methods. To investigate the interaction of SIV and the bacteria in vitro, guinea pigs were used as mammalian hosts to determine the effect on viral susceptibility and transmissibility. Differences in viral titers between groups were compared using Student’s t-test. Results During surveillance for SIV in China from 2006 to 2009, seven isolates (24.14%) of 29 influenza A viruses were co-isolated with Stenotrophomonas maltophilia from nasal and tracheal swab samples of pigs. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing showed that the bacteria possessed a high level of resistance towards clinically used antibiotics. To investigate the interaction between these two microorganisms in influencing viral susceptibility and transmission in humans, guinea pigs were used as an infection model. Animals were inoculated with SIV or S. maltophilia alone or co-infected with SIV and S. maltophilia. The results showed that although no transmission among guinea pigs was observed, virus–bacteria co-infections resulted in higher virus titers in nasal washes and trachea and a longer virus shedding period. Conclusions This is the first report of influenza virus co-infection with S. maltophilia in the Chinese swine population. Increased replication of virus by co-infection with multidrug resistant bacteria might increase the infection rate of SIV in humans. The control of S. maltophilia in clinics will contribute to reducing the spread of SIV in pigs and humans.
    Virology Journal 08/2012; 9(1):169. DOI:10.1186/1743-422X-9-169 · 2.18 Impact Factor
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    • "The other six gene segments are well clustered into North American triple-reassortant swine lineage. More specially, the HA, NP and NS gene segments belong to classical swine lineage; while the PB2, PB1 and PA gene segments are derived from the North American swine, avian and human H3N2 reassortant lineage [4-6]. "
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    ABSTRACT: A new strain of human H1N1 influenza A viruses was broken out in the April 2009 and caused worldwide pandemic emergency. The present study is trying to estimate a temporal reassortment history of 2009 H1N1 viruses by phylogenetic analysis based on a total 394 sequences of H1N1viruses isolated from swine, human and avian. Phylogenetic trees of eight gene segments showed that viruses sampled from human formed a well-supported clade, whereas swine and avian lineages were intermixed together. A new divergence swine sublineage containing gene segments of 2009 H1N1 viruses was characterized, which were closely related with swine viruses collected from USA and South Korea during 2004 to 2007 in six segments (PB2, PB1, PA, HA, NP and NS), and to swine viruses isolated from Thailand during 2004 to 2005 in NA and M. Substitution rates were varied drastically among eight segments and the average substitution rate was generally higher in 2009 H1N1 than in swine and human viruses (F2,23 = 5.972, P < 0.01). Similarly, higher dN/dS substitution ratios were identified in 2009 H1N1 than in swine and human viruses except M2 gene (F2, 25 = 3.779, P < 0.05). The ages of 2009 H1N1 viruses were estimated around 0.1 to 0.5 year, while their common ancestors with closest related swine viruses existed between 9.3 and 17.37 years ago. Our results implied that at least four reassortments or transmissions probably occurred before 2009 H1N1 viruses. Initial reassortment arose in 1976 and avian-like Eurasian swine viruses emerged. The second transmission happened in Asia and North America between 1988 and 1992, and mostly influenced six segments (PB2, PB1, PA, HA, NP and NS). The third reassortment occurred between North American swine and avian viruses during 1998 to 2000, which involved PB2 and PA segments. Recent reassortments occurred among avian-to-swine reassortant, Eurasian and classical swine viruses during 2004 to 2005. South Korea, Thailand and USA, were identified as locations where reassortments most likely happened. The co-circulation of multiple swine sublineages and special lifestyle in Asia might have facilitated mixing of diverse influenza viruses, leading to generate a novel virus strain.
    Virology Journal 05/2011; 8(1):250. DOI:10.1186/1743-422X-8-250 · 2.18 Impact Factor
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