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J Clin Virol. 2009 Jul;45(3):169-73. doi: 10.1016/j.jcv.2009.06.006. Epub 2009 Jun 11.

Emergence of a novel swine-origin influenza A virus (S-OIV) H1N1 virus in humans.

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  • 1State Key Laboratory for Emerging Infectious Disease & Department of Microbiology, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China.


A recently emerged novel influenza A H1N1 virus continues to spread globally. The virus contains a novel constellation of gene segments, the nearest known precursors being viruses found in swine and it likely arose through reassortment of two or more viruses of swine origin. H1N1, H1N2 and H3N2 subtype swine influenza viruses have occasionally infected humans before but such zoonotic transmission events did not lead to sustained human-to-human transmission in the manner this swine-origin influenza virus (S-OIV) has done. Its transmission among humans appears to be higher than that observed with seasonal influenza. Children and young adults appear to those most affected and also those who appear to maintain transmission. Clinical disease generally appears mild but complications leading to hospitalization can occur, especially in those with underlying lung or cardiac disease, diabetes or those on immunosuppresive therapies. There are concerns that the virus may reassort with existing human influenza virus giving rise to more transmissible or more pathogenic viruses. The virus appears to retain the potential to transmit back to swine and thus continued reassortment with swine viruses is a cause for concern.

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