Molecular characterization of a novel reassortant H1N2 influenza virus containing genes from the 2009 pandemic human H1N1 virus in swine from eastern China.Virus Genes 2016; 52(3):405-10VG
Pandemic outbreaks of H1N1 swine influenza virus have been reported since 2009. Reassortant H1N2 viruses that contain genes from the pandemic H1N1 virus have been isolated in Italy and the United States. However, there is limited information regarding the molecular characteristics of reassortant H1N2 swine influenza viruses in eastern China. Active influenza surveillance programs in Zhejiang Province identified a novel H1N2 influenza virus isolated from pigs displaying clinical signs of influenza virus infection. Whole-genome sequencing was performed and this strain was compared with other influenza viruses available in GenBank. Phylogenetic analysis suggested that the novel strain contained genes from the 2009 pandemic human H1N1 and swine H3N2 viruses. BALB/c mice were infected with the isolated virus to assess its virulence in mice. While the novel H1N2 isolate replicated well in mice, it was found to be less virulent. These results provide additional evidence that swine serve as intermediate hosts or 'mixing vessels' for novel influenza viruses. They also emphasize the importance of surveillance in the swine population for use as an early warning system for influenza outbreaks in swine and human populations.