- Complete Genome Sequences of Two Novel Human-Like H3N2 Influenza A Viruses, A/swine/Oklahoma/65980/2017 (H3N2) and A/Swine/Oklahoma/65260/2017 (H3N2), Detected in Swine in the United States. [Journal Article]
- MRMicrobiol Resour Announc 2018; 7(20)
- Two novel human-like H3N2 influenza A virus strains, A/swine/Oklahoma/65980/2017 (H3N2) and A/swine/Oklahoma/65260/2017 (H3N2), were isolated from porcine samples submitted to the Iowa State Universi...
Two novel human-like H3N2 influenza A virus strains, A/swine/Oklahoma/65980/2017 (H3N2) and A/swine/Oklahoma/65260/2017 (H3N2), were isolated from porcine samples submitted to the Iowa State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in the United States.
- Origins of the 1918 Pandemic: Revisiting the Swine "Mixing Vessel" Hypothesis. [Journal Article]
- AJAm J Epidemiol 2018 Dec 01; 187(12):2498-2502
- How influenza A viruses host-jump from animal reservoir species to humans, which can initiate global pandemics, is a central question in pathogen evolution. The zoonotic and spatial origins of the in...
How influenza A viruses host-jump from animal reservoir species to humans, which can initiate global pandemics, is a central question in pathogen evolution. The zoonotic and spatial origins of the influenza virus associated with the "Spanish flu" pandemic of 1918 have been debated for decades. Outbreaks of respiratory disease in US swine occurred concurrently with disease in humans, raising the possibility that the 1918 virus originated in pigs. Swine also were proposed as "mixing vessel" intermediary hosts between birds and humans during the 1957 Asian and 1968 Hong Kong pandemics. Swine have presented an attractive explanation for how avian viruses overcome the substantial evolutionary barriers presented by different cellular environments in humans and birds. However, key assumptions underpinning the swine mixing-vessel model of pandemic emergence have been challenged in light of new evidence. Increased surveillance in swine has revealed that human-to-swine transmission actually occurs far more frequently than the reverse, and there is no empirical evidence that swine played a role in the emergence of human influenza in 1918, 1957, or 1968. Swine-to-human transmission occurs periodically and can trigger pandemics, as in 2009. But swine are not necessary to mediate the establishment of avian viruses in humans, which invites new perspectives on the evolutionary processes underlying pandemic emergence.
- Bioaerosol Sampling for Respiratory Viruses in Singapore's Mass Rapid Transit Network. [Journal Article]
- SRSci Rep 2018 Nov 30; 8(1):17476
- As a leading global city with a high population density, Singapore is at risk for the introduction of novel biological threats. This risk has been recently reinforced by human epidemics in Singapore ...
As a leading global city with a high population density, Singapore is at risk for the introduction of novel biological threats. This risk has been recently reinforced by human epidemics in Singapore of SARS coronavirus, 2009 pandemic H1N1 influenza A virus, and enterovirus 71. Other major threats to Singapore include MERS-coronavirus and various avian and swine influenza viruses. The ability to quickly identify and robustly track such threats to initiate an early emergency response remains a significant challenge. In an effort to enhance respiratory virus surveillance in Singapore, our team conducted a pilot study employing a noninvasive bioaerosol sampling method to detect respiratory viruses in Singapore's Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) network. Over a period of 52 weeks, 89 aerosol samples were collected during peak MRT ridership hours. Nine (10%) tested positive for adenovirus, four (4.5%) tested positive for respiratory syncytial virus type A, and one (1%) tested positive for influenza A virus using real-time RT-PCR/PCR. To our knowledge, this is the first time molecular evidence for any infectious respiratory agent has been collected from Singapore's MRT. Our pilot study data support the possibility of employing bioaerosol samplers in crowded public spaces to noninvasively monitor for respiratory viruses circulating in communities.
- Nothing to sneeze at - uptake of protective measures against an influenza pandemic by people with schizophrenia: willingness and perceived barriers. [Journal Article]
- APAustralas Psychiatry 2018 Dec 03; :1039856218815748
- CONCLUSIONS: People with schizophrenia report being generally willing to adopt protective measures, especially increased hand washing, during a pandemic influenza. Understanding perceived barriers may enable development of effective interventions to increase uptake of protective measures.
- Serological surveillance and factors associated with influenza A virus in backyard pigs in Southern Brazil. [Journal Article]
- ZPZoonoses Public Health 2018 Nov 28
- Backyard pig populations are not monitored for influenza A virus (IAV) in Brazil and there are limited data about seroprevalence and risk factors in these populations. Our goal was to assess possible...
Backyard pig populations are not monitored for influenza A virus (IAV) in Brazil and there are limited data about seroprevalence and risk factors in these populations. Our goal was to assess possible factors associated with IAV seroprevalence in backyard pig populations using an indirect ELISA protocol based on a recombinant nucleoprotein. Following the IAV screening using NP-ELISA, subtype-specific serology based on hemagglutination inhibition (HI) assay of the ELISA-positive pigs was conducted. The survey comprised a total of 1,667 sera samples collected in 2012 and 2014 in 479 holdings and the estimated seroprevalence was 5.3% (3.84%-7.33%) and 2.3% (1.34%-3.71%) in the respective years. In both years, H1N1pdm09 was the most prevalent subtype. The multivariable analysis showed main factors such as "age," "sex," "number of suckling pigs" and "neighbours raising pigs" that presented the greatest effect on IAV seroprevalence in these pig populations. These factors may be associated with the low biosecurity measures and management of backyard holdings. In addition, the low IAV seroprevalences found in these backyard pig populations could be related to a low number of animals in each pig holding and low animal movement/replacement that do not favour IAV transmission dynamics. This low frequency of H1N1pdm09 seropositive pigs could also be due to sporadic human-to-pig transmission of what is now a human seasonal influenza A virus; however, these factors should be explored in future studies. Herein, these results highlight the importance of IAV continued surveillance in backyard pig holdings, since it is poorly known which IAVs are circulating in these populations and the risk they could pose to public health and virus transmission to commercial farms.
- The role of the hotel industry in the response to emerging epidemics: a case study of SARS in 2003 and H1N1 swine flu in 2009 in Hong Kong. [Journal Article]
- GHGlobal Health 2018 11 27; 14(1):117
- CONCLUSIONS: Positive collaborations may bring about effective preparedness across the health and the tourism sectors for future epidemics. Regular hygiene surveillance at hotel facilities, and developing coordination mechanism for impending epidemics on the use of screening, swift reporting and isolation of infected persons may help mitigate the impact of future events. Preparedness and contingency plans for infectious disease control for the hotel industry requires continuous engagement and dialogue.
- Liposomal nanoparticle-based conserved peptide influenza vaccine and monosodium urate crystal adjuvant elicit protective immune response in pigs. [Journal Article]
- IJInt J Nanomedicine 2018; 13:6699-6715
- CONCLUSIONS: Overall, our study shows great promise for using liposome and MSU adjuvant- based subunit flu vaccine through the intranasal route, and provides scope for future, pre-clinical investigations in a pig model for developing potent human intranasal subunit flu vaccines.
- Hormonal Regulation of Physiology, Innate Immunity and Antibody Response to H1N1 Influenza Virus Infection During Pregnancy. [Review]
- FIFront Immunol 2018; 9:2455
- In 2009, the H1N1 swine flu pandemic highlighted the vulnerability of pregnant women to influenza viral infection. Pregnant women infected with influenza A virus were at increased risk of hospitaliza...
In 2009, the H1N1 swine flu pandemic highlighted the vulnerability of pregnant women to influenza viral infection. Pregnant women infected with influenza A virus were at increased risk of hospitalization and severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), which is associated with high mortality, while their newborns had an increased risk of pre-term birth or low birth weight. Pregnant women have a unique immunological profile modulated by the sex hormones required to maintain pregnancy, namely progesterone and estrogens. The role of these hormones in coordinating maternal immunotolerance in uterine tissue and cellular subsets has been well researched; however, these hormones have wide-ranging effects outside the uterus in modulating the immune response to disease. In this review, we compile research findings in the clinic and in animal models that elaborate on the unique features of H1N1 influenza A viral pathogenesis during pregnancy, the crosstalk between innate immune signaling and hormonal regulation during pregnancy, and the role of pregnancy hormones in modulating cellular responses to influenza A viral infection at mid-gestation. We highlight the ways in which lung architecture and function is stressed by pregnancy, increasing baseline inflammation prior to infection. We demonstrate that infection disrupts progesterone production and upregulates inflammatory mediators, such as cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and prostaglandins, resulting in pre-term labor and spontaneous abortions. Lastly, we profile the ways in which pregnancy alters innate and adaptive cellular immune responses to H1N1 influenza viral infection, and the ways in which these protect fetal development at the expense of effective long-term immune memory. Thus, we highlight advancements in the field of reproductive immunology in response to viral infection and illustrate how that knowledge might be used to develop more effective post-infection therapies and vaccination strategies.
- Development and evaluation of new real-time RT-PCR assays for identifying the influenza A virus Cluster IV H3N2 variant. [Journal Article]
- JJJpn J Infect Dis 2018 Oct 31
- From 2005 to July 6, 2018, a total of 435 swine-origin influenza A H3N2 variant virus (H3N2v) human infections were reported in the USA. The largest H3N2v outbreak in the USA occurred in 2011-2012. T...
From 2005 to July 6, 2018, a total of 435 swine-origin influenza A H3N2 variant virus (H3N2v) human infections were reported in the USA. The largest H3N2v outbreak in the USA occurred in 2011-2012. This virus obtained the HA gene from human seasonal H3N2 influenza A viruses (seasonal H3N2) via human-to-swine transmission in the mid-1990s and was classified as Cluster IV H3N2v. For early detection of public health threats associated with Cluster IV H3N2v in distinction from seasonal H3N2, we developed highly specific and sensitive one-step real-time RT-PCR assays directly targeting the HA genes of Cluster IV H3N2v and seasonal H3N2. These assays are useful for systematic surveillance and identification of Cluster IV H3N2v.
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- DNA compositional dynamics and codon usage patterns of M1 and M2 matrix protein genes in influenza A virus. [Journal Article]
- IGInfect Genet Evol 2018 Oct 24; 67:7-16
- Influenza A virus subtype H3N2 has been a serious health issue across the globe with approximately 36 thousand annual casualties in the United States of America only. Co-circulation in avian, swine a...
Influenza A virus subtype H3N2 has been a serious health issue across the globe with approximately 36 thousand annual casualties in the United States of America only. Co-circulation in avian, swine and human hosts has led to frequent mutations in the virus genome, due to which development of successful antivirals against the virus has become a formidable challenge. Recently, focussed research is being carried out targeting the matrix proteins of this strain as vaccine candidates. This study is carried out to unravel the key features of the genes encoding the matrix proteins that manoeuvre the codon usage profile in the H3N2 strains. The findings reveal differential codon choice for both matrix protein 1 and matrix protein 2. The overall codon usage bias is less pronounced in both the datasets which is evident from higher value of effective number of codons (>55). Comparison of the codon usage for both the genes under study with that of humans revealed that the viral codon usage is not fully optimized for the human host conditions. Both the genes enrolled in the study showed variation which was reflected in almost all the indices used for codon usage studies. Neutrality analysis revealed a weak role of mutation pressure while selection was the major contributor towards codon usage.