Hightlight: Influenza virus gaining power in pigs?

Jun 17, 2010

The June 18 issue of Science reports that by monitoring the swine at a Hong Kong slaughterhouse, researchers have found that the pandemic H1N1 influenza virus from 2009 has been reorganizing its genes in pigs for the past year and a half.

This discovery concerns the researchers because further genetic "reassortment" could eventually give rise to another that is harmful to humans.

For this reason, Dhanasekaran Vijaykrishna and colleagues argue that global surveillance of swine should be heightened.

In a Brevium, these researchers describe how they identified a novel genetic reassortment of the H1N1 virus in January of this year and analyzed it to confirm that it arose from the H1N1/2009 virus.

They suggest that the introduction of the H1N1/2009 virus back into swine allowed it to reorganize its genes, and they warn that this 2010 virus could undergo further reassortment in swine and become dangerous to humans.

Vijaykrishna and colleagues call for a complete characterization of the eight H1 influenza genes identified in the new strain so that future reassortment events can be quickly recognized and identified.

Explore further: Factors linked to development of celiac disease identified

More information: "Reassortment of Pandemic H1N1/2009 Influenza A Virus in Swine," by D. Vijaykrishna; L.L.M. Poon; H.C. Zhu; S.K. Ma; O.T.W. Li; C.L. Cheung; G.J.D. Smith; J.S. M. Peiris; Y. Guan at University of Hong Kong in Hong Kong, China; D. Vijaykrishna; H.C. Zhu; G.J.D. Smith; Y. Guan at Shantou University Medical College in Shantou, China; D. Vijaykrishna at Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School in Singapore, Singapore.

Related Stories

Probing Question: Can a pandemic be predicted?

Jun 04, 2009

SARS. Ebola. West Nile. Avian flu. Over the past decade, the world has watched and waited to see if these viruses would develop into global health threats. In recent weeks, the World Health Organization (WHO) sent a shockwave ...

Virus hybridization could create pandemic bird flu

Feb 22, 2010

Genetic interactions between avian H5N1 influenza and human seasonal influenza viruses have the potential to create hybrid strains combining the virulence of bird flu with the pandemic ability of H1N1, according to a new ...

Recommended for you

Factors linked to development of celiac disease identified

9 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Certain perinatal factors, including sex of the child, maternal celiac disease, and type 1 diabetes, are associated with development of celiac disease in children, according to a study published ...

WHO shake-up approved after Ebola debacle

14 hours ago

The World Health Organization got the go-ahead Tuesday for a sweeping shake-up, including a $100-million war chest to battle future emergencies following the Ebola fiasco.

Soy supplements don't improve asthma

15 hours ago

Despite previous findings suggesting a link between soy intake and decreased asthma severity, a new study from Northwestern Medicine and the American Lung Association Asthma Clinical Research Network shows ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.