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J Virol. 1996 Nov;70(11):8041-6.

Emergence of avian H1N1 influenza viruses in pigs in China.

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Department of Virology/Molecular Biology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee 38105, USA.


Avian influenza A viruses from Asia are recognized as the source of genes that reassorted with human viral genes to generate the Asian/57 (H2N2) and Hong Kong/68 (H3N2) pandemic strains earlier in this century. Here we report the genetic analysis of avian influenza A H1N1 viruses recently isolated from pigs in southern China, a host suspected to generate new pandemic strains through gene reassortment events. Each of the eight gene segments was of avian origin. Phylogenetic analysis indicates that these genes form an Asian sublineage of the Eurasian avian lineage, suggesting that these viruses are an independent introduction into pigs in Asia. The presence of avian influenza viruses in pigs in China places them in an optimal position for transmission to humans and may serve as an early warning of the emergence of the next human influenza virus pandemic.

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