Surveillance of European Domestic Pig Populations Identifies an Emerging Reservoir of Potentially Zoonotic Swine Influenza A Viruses

Henritzi, D and Petric, P P and Lewis, N S and Graaf, A and Pessia, A and Starick, E and Breithaupt, A and Strebelow, G and Luttermann, C and Parker, L M K and Schröder, C and Hammerschmidt, B and Herrler, G and Beilage, E g and Stadlbauer, D and Simon, V and Krammer, F and Wacheck, S and Pesch, S and Schwemmle, M and Beer, M and Harder, T C (2020) Surveillance of European Domestic Pig Populations Identifies an Emerging Reservoir of Potentially Zoonotic Swine Influenza A Viruses. Cell Host & Microbe, 28 (4). 614-627.e6. ISSN 19313128

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chom.2020.07.006

Abstract

Swine influenza A viruses (swIAVs) can play a crucial role in the generation of new human pandemic viruses. In this study, in-depth passive surveillance comprising nearly 2,500 European swine holdings and more than 18,000 individual samples identified a year-round presence of up to four major swIAV lineages on more than 50% of farms surveilled. Phylogenetic analyses show that intensive reassortment with human pandemic A(H1N1)/2009 (H1pdm) virus produced an expanding and novel repertoire of at least 31 distinct swIAV genotypes and 12 distinct hemagglutinin/neuraminidase combinations with largely unknown consequences for virulence and host tropism. Several viral isolates were resistant to the human antiviral MxA protein, a prerequisite for zoonotic transmission and stable introduction into human populations. A pronounced antigenic variation was noted in swIAV, and several H1pdm lineages antigenically distinct from current seasonal human H1pdm co-circulate in swine. Thus, European swine populations represent reservoirs for emerging IAV strains with zoonotic and, possibly, pre-pandemic potential.

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