The Evolution of Novel Reassortant A/H3N2 Influenza Viruses in North American Swine and Humans, 2009-2011
June 15, 2012 —
Novel H3N2 influenza viruses (H3N2v) containing seven genome segments from swine-lineage triple reassortant H3N2 viruses and a 2009 pandemic H1N1 (H1N1pdm09) matrix protein segment (pM) have been isolated from 12 humans in the United States between August - December 2011. To understand the evolution of these novel H3N2 viruses in swine and humans, we undertook a phylogenetic analysis of 674 M sequences and 388 HA and NA sequences from influenza viruses isolated from North American swine during 2009-2011, as well as HA, NA, and M sequences from eight H3N2v viruses isolated from humans. We identified 34 swine influenza viruses (termed rH3N2p) with the same combination of H3, N2, and pM segments as the H3N2v viruses isolated from humans. Notably, these rH3N2p viruses were generated in swine via reassortment events between H3N2 viruses and the pM segment approximately 4 - 10 times since 2009. The pM segment has also reassorted with multiple distinct lineages of H1 virus, especially H1δ viruses. Importantly, the N2 segment of all H3N2v viruses isolated from humans is derived from a genetically distinct N2 lineage that has circulated in swine since acquired by reassortment with seasonal human H3N2 viruses in 2001-2002, rather than from the N2 that is associated with the 1998 H3N2 swine lineage. The identification of this N2 variant may have implications for influenza vaccine design and the potential pandemic threat of H3N2v to human age groups with differing levels of prior exposure and immunity.
Nelson MI, Vincent AL, Kitikoon P, Holmes EC, Gramer MR; The evolution of novel reassortant A/H3N2 influenza viruses in North American swine and humans, 2009-2011; J Virol. 2012 Jun 13. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 22696653 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
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