M. Nelson, M. Culhane, A. Rovira
Aug 13, 2015
Introduction: Further understanding of the genetic diversity and evolution of influenza A viruses circulating in swine (IAV-S) is important for the development of effective vaccines and our knowledge of pandemic threats. Until recently, very little was known of IAV-S diversity in Latin America, owing to a lack of surveillance. Methods: To address this gap, we sequenced and conducted a phylogenetic analysis of 69 hemagglutinin (HA) sequences from IAV-S isolates collected in swine in Mexico and Chile during 2010-2014, including the H1N1, H1N2, and H3N2 subtypes. Results: Our analysis identified multiple IAV-S lineages that appear to have been circulating undetected in swine for decades, including four novel IAV-S lineages of human seasonal virus origin that have not been previously identified in any swine populations globally. We also found evidence of repeated introductions of pandemic H1N1 viruses from humans into swine in Mexico and Chile since 2009, and incursions of H1 and H3 viruses from North American swine into Mexico. Discussion: Overall, our findings indicate that at least 12 genetically distinct HA lineages circulate in Latin American swine herds, only two of which have been found in North American swine herds. Human-to-swine transmission, spatial migration via swine movements, and genomic reassortment are the key evolutionary mechanisms that generate this viral diversity. Additional antigenic characterization and whole-genome sequencing is greatly needed to understand the diversity and independent evolution of IAV-S in Latin America.