Scientists sound the alarm about a novel influenza virus with pandemic potential

Published: Tuesday, 30 June 2020 06:57

In a research article published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, researchers have highlighted the discovery of a new H1N1 influenza virus which should be monitored due to its potential to be a vector for a future pandemic.

The article, 'Prevalent Eurasian avian-like H1N1 swine influenza virus with 2009 pandemic viral genes facilitating human infection' states the following:

"Pigs are intermediate hosts for the generation of pandemic influenza virus. Thus, systematic surveillance of influenza viruses in pigs is a key measure for prewarning the emergence of the next pandemic influenza. Here, we identified a reassortant EA H1N1 virus possessing pdm/09 and TR-derived internal genes, termed as G4 genotype, which has become predominant in swine populations since 2016. Similar to pdm/09 virus, G4 viruses have all the essential hallmarks of a candidate pandemic virus. Of concern is that swine workers show elevated seroprevalence for G4 virus. Controlling the prevailing G4 EA H1N1 viruses in pigs and close monitoring in human populations, especially the workers in swine industry, should be urgently implemented."

Read the research paper.