Further reassortment of the H1N1 virus in pigs is likely to happen, but it will not have any severe consequences. This in short, is the expectation of Prof Ian Brown from the Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA) in Weybridge, UK.
His opinions can be found in an article in the upcoming 25.08 issue of Pig Progress, which focuses on the theme of pigs as mixing vessels and their role in the outbreak of diseases like the pandemic (H1N1) 2009 and Ebola-Reston in the Philippines.
Brown’s opinion is based upon historial experience. He told Pig Progress, “Never say never, but I think nothing severe will happen. This we could see from previous pandemics, like in 1968, when the H3N2 reassorted with other viruses in pigs. These new viruses, however, did not spread amongst people. They affected the occasional person but had a very limited impact.”
H1N1 has been found in pig herds in several countries across the globe. According to Brown the virus will continue to expand widely. “In my opinion, the virus will continue to spread among pigs – and these current infections may mark the beginning of a widespread expansion in the coming months. My judgment is that these cases may only reflect a fairly small number of total farms affected.”
The new issue of Pig Progress will be available shortly in print and the article will be available on this website.
• Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA)