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Abstract: South Korean research finds H3N2v in pigs

Writing in Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses, South Korean researchers have reported that they have isolated variant H3N2 influenza (H3N2v) viruses in pigsfor the first time outside of North America, and they also isolated novel reassortant swine H3N1 viruses that have 2009 pandemic H1N1 (pH1N1)–derived genes.

Pig lung tissues were collected and analysed from commercially slaughtered pigs. Isolated swine influenza viruses were genetically analysed and characterised in vitro and in vivo.

The researchers identified reassortant H3N2 (H3N2pM-like) and H3N1 swine viruses containing A(H1N1)pdm09-like segments in Korean pigs that are genetically closely related to strains recently detected in pigs and humans in North America. Although the H3N2pM-like and novel H3N1 reassortants demonstrated efficient replication in mice and ferrets, all the H3N1 strains exhibited growth advantage over the representative H3N2pM-like virus in human airway cells. Interestingly, A/swine/Korea/CY02-07/2012(H3N1) and A/swine/Korea/CY03-13/2012(H3N1) reassortants were more readily transmitted to respiratory-droplet-contact ferrets compared with the H3N2pM-like (A/swine/Korea/CY02-10/2012) isolate. Furthermore, serologic evaluation showed poor antigenicity to contemporary reference human seasonal H3N2 vaccine strains.

Philippe Noriel Q. Pascua, Gyo-Jin Lim, Hyeok-il Kwon, Su-Jin Park, Eun-Ha Kim, Min-Suk Song, Chul Joong Kim,  Young-Ki Choi.

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