Date: 22 Jan 2012

Contemporary Epidemiology of North American Lineage Triple Reassortant Influenza A Viruses in Pigs

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The 2009 pandemic H1N1 infection in humans has been one of the greatest concerns for public health in recent years. However, influenza in pigs is a zoonotic viral disease well-known to virologists for almost one century with the classical H1N1 subtype the only responsible agent for swine influenza in the United States for many decades. Swine influenza was first recognized clinically in pigs in the Midwestern U.S. in 1918 and since that time it has remained important to the swine industry throughout the world. Since 1998, however, the epidemiology of swine influenza changed dramatically. A number of emerging subtypes and genotypes have become established in the U.S. swine population. The ability of multiple influenza virus lineages to infect pigs is associated with the emergence of reassortant viruses with new genomic arrangements, and the introduction of the 2009 pandemic H1N1 from humans to swine represents a well-known example. The recent epidemiological data regarding the current state of influenza A virus subtypes circulating in the Canadian and American swine population is discussed in this review.