Navigation Links
H1N1 Flu Undergoing Genetic Changes in Pigs
Date:6/17/2010

Heightened surveillance needed in case stronger strain emerges, researchers warn

THURSDAY, June 17 (HealthDay News) -- Although the pandemic H1N1 "swine" flu that emerged last spring has stayed genetically stable in humans, researchers in Asia say the virus has undergone genetic changes in pigs during the last year and a half.

The fear is that these genetic changes, or reassortments, could produce a more virulent bug.

"The particular reassortment we found is not itself likely to be of major human health risk, [but] it is an indication of what may be occurring on a wider scale, undetected," said Malik Peiris, an influenza expert and co-author of a paper published in the June 18 issue of Science. "Other reassortments may occur, some of which pose greater risks."

The findings underscore the importance of monitoring how the influenza virus behaves in pigs, said Peiris, who is chair and professor of microbiology at the University of Hong Kong and scientific director of the university's Pasteur Research Center.

"Obviously, there's a lot of evolution going on and whenever you see some unstable situation, there's the potential for something new to emerge that could be dangerous," added Dr. John Treanor, professor of medicine and of microbiology and immunology at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York.

The novel H1N1 pandemic influenza virus that began circulating in humans in early 2009 originally came from swine, first infecting humans in Mexico before spreading to more than 200 countries.

In humans, the 2009 H1N1 virus has stayed genetically the same and still causes relatively mild disease, when it causes disease at all (the virus has all but disappeared in recent weeks, although experts suspect it will be back).

But in January 2010, the authors of this paper isolated a new version of the H1N1 virus in pigs in a Hong Kong slaughterhouse.

The H1N1 virus circulating in humans apparently looped back to pigs, where it underwent this genetic change. Theoretically, the changed virus could now hop back to humans, potentially causing more dangerous disease.

"We found that the pandemic virus has repeatedly transmitted back to pigs, and we report one instance of reassortment, meaning genetic change, of this virus within pigs," said Peiris.

Peiris and his co-authors pointed out that the influenza viruses that sparked the 1918, 1957 and 1968 pandemics all lingered in mammals before reassorting and wreaking havoc on humans.

"Our point is that this is likely to be occurring in many places and not unique to Hong Kong," Peiris said. "There is need for much greater surveillance efforts to assess what is occurring on a worldwide basis."

"In the past, we have focused a lot of attention trying to understand what's been going on in birds," Treanor said. "This article and others are saying it may be equally or more important to have extensive surveillance of viruses in pigs."

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on H1N1.



SOURCES: Malik Peiris, M.D., D.Phil., chair and professor of microbiology, University of Hong Kong and scientific director, HKU-Pasteur Research Center; John J. Treanor, M.D., professor of medicine and of microbiology and immunology, University of Rochester Medical Center; June 18, 2010 Science


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Palpable breast cancers are more common in women not undergoing annual mammography
2. New York Medical Malpractice Attorney Recommends Cancer Patients Take Precautionary Steps Before Undergoing Radiation Therapy
3. Medco Acquires Leading Genetics Healthcare Company, DNA Direct
4. Genetic Variants in Depressed People Raise Suicide Risk
5. St. Jude and Washington University team to unravel genetic basis of childhood cancers
6. Discovery of epigenetic memory during breast cancer
7. Genetic Test May Someday Help Spot Breast Cancer
8. Advances in Genetic Understanding and Treatment Protocols Lead to Significant Progress in Leukemia and Myeloproliferative Disorders
9. Wistar-led research team discovers genetic pattern that indicates early-stage lung cancer
10. New License Agreement with University of Colorado Gives Viral Genetics, Inc., Right to Develop Cancer Therapies
11. U-M Study Reveals Surprising Lack of Genetic Diversity in the Most Widely Used Human Embryonic Stem Cell Lines
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
H1N1 Flu Undergoing Genetic Changes in Pigs
(Date:6/27/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 , ... TopConsumerReviews.com recently ... of Eyeglasses . , Millions of individuals in the United States and Canada ... become a way to both correct vision and make a fashion statement. Even celebrities ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... Carolina (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... ... of a new product that was developed to enhance the health of felines. The ... centuries. , The two main herbs in the PawPaws Cat Kidney Support ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery services, can now turn to Dr. Jessica ... Peckham for medical and surgical dermatology. , Dr. Dorsey brings specialization to include Mohs ... Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey was under the direction of Glenn Goldstein, ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... Long Beach, CA (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... from UCLA with Magna Cum Laude and his M.D from the David Geffen School ... San Diego and returned to Los Angeles to complete his fellowship in hematology/oncology at ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... A recent article ... people are unfamiliar with. The article goes on to state that individuals are now ... of these less common operations such as calf and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... June 24, 2016 According to ... Type (Standard Pen Needles, Safety Pen Needles), Needle Length ... Growth Hormone), Mode of Purchase (Retail, Non-Retail) - Trends ... report studies the market for the forecast period of ... USD 2.81 Billion by 2021 from USD 1.65 Billion ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... June 24, 2016  Arkis BioSciences, a leading ... and more durable cerebrospinal fluid treatments, today announced ... Series-A funding is led by Innova Memphis, followed ... other private investors.  Arkis, new financing will accelerate ... the market release of its in-licensed Endexo® technology. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Any dentist who has made an implant supported denture ... of them do not even offer this as a viable ... costs involved. And those who ARE able to offer that ... cost that the majority of today,s patients would not be ... , founder of Dental Evolutions Inc. and inventor of Implanova ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: