Threat Assessment Brief: Eurasian avian-like A(H1N1) swine influenza viruses

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Publication Date 13/07/2020
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The 2009 pandemic was the latest of several pandemics caused by a swine-origin influenza virus. Swine influenza is not a mandatory notifiable disease according to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) criteria for disease notification.

A recently published study conducted between 2011 and 2018 in China, and based on surveillance data in pigs, identified an emerging genotype 4 (G4) reassortant Eurasian avian-like (EA) A(H1N1) swine influenza virus that contains internal genes from the human A(H1N1)pdm09 and North American triple-reassortant (TR) lineage-derived internal genes. This virus demonstrated the ability to replicate in human epithelial cells and can spread through respiratory droplets between ferrets.

These findings raise concern about the pandemic potential of these viruses, which are already able to replicate successfully in human tissue and transmit through droplets between ferrets, being a model for human-to-human transmission.

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