- Short report
- Open Access
Genetic characterization of H1N2 influenza a virus isolated from sick pigs in Southern China in 2010
- Wei Li Kong†1,
- Liang Zong Huang†1,
- Hai Tao Qi1,
- Nan Cao1,
- Liang Quan Zhang1,
- Heng Wang1,
- Shang Song Guan1,
- Wen Bao Qi1,
- Pei Rong Jiao1,
- Ming Liao1 and
- Gui Hong Zhang1Email author
© Kong et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2011
Received: 11 January 2011
Accepted: 13 October 2011
Published: 13 October 2011
In China H3N2 and H1N1 swine influenza viruses have been circulating for many years. In January 2010, before swine were infected with foot and mouth disease in Guangdong, some pigs have shown flu-like symptoms: cough, sneeze, runny nose and fever. We collected the nasopharyngeal swab of all sick pigs as much as possible. One subtype H1N2 influenza viruses were isolated from the pig population. The complete genome of one isolate, designated A/swine/Guangdong/1/2010(H1N2), was sequenced and compared with sequences available in GenBank. The nucleotide sequences of all eight viral RNA segments were determined, and then phylogenetic analysis was performed using the neighbor-joining method. HA, NP, M and NS were shown to be closely to swine origin. PB2 and PA were close to avian origin, but NA and PB1were close to human origin. It is a result of a multiple reassortment event. In conclusion, our finding provides further evidence about the interspecies transmission of avian influenza viruses to pigs and emphasizes the importance of reinforcing swine influenza virus (SIV) surveillance, especially before the emergence of highly pathogenic FMDs in pigs in Guangdong.
Influenza viruses are members of family Orthomyxoviridae and have segmented, Negative-sense RNA genomes. Swine influenza virus (SIV) belongs to Influenza A Viruses. SIV causes respiratory diseases in pigs and has been disseminated all over the world . At present, there were three main influenza viruses circulating in pigs in the world including H1N1, H1N2 and H3N2. In addition some other unusual subtypes of swine influenza were also reported includingH1N7, H3N1, H4N6, H5N1, H5N2, H6N6 and H9N2 [2–7].
The first SIV H1N2 was reported in Japan from 1978 to 1992 [8, 9]. From then on, H1N2 was show up in different pigs of different countries, including France from 1987 to 1988 , and in the United Kingdom in 1994 , the United States in 1999 , Germany in 2000 , Korea in 2003 and thereafter . Recently it first shows up in Swedish herd . During an influenza virus surveillance programme in Guangdong pigs, we isolated an H1N2 virus from clinically ill pigs, which was genetically characterized as a result of reassortment events between a human H3N2 strain, Classical SIV strain and North America avian-like SIV lineage strain.
In January of 2010, some pigs have a severe outbreak of influenza-like disease occurred in an intensive pig farm of Guangdong province. Many pigs have similar clinical symptoms: cough, sneeze, runny nose. These clinical symptoms last for 3-8 days then some pigs have sick of foot and mouth disease (FMD). Because Swine influenza (SI) was immunosuppressive disease which frequently predisposesed to highly fatal secondary infections. Maybe the SI lowers pig's immunity to common illnesses, some pigs will get FMD. From now on, the FMD caused rampant epidemic diseases in pig population of Guangdong .
Initial isolations of the viruses were performed in 10-day-old specific pathogen free (SPF) embryonated chicken eggs through the allantoic route, incubated at 35°C for 72 h. Embryonic death was monitored every 12 h, and then allantoic fluid were harvested under aseptic conditions and stored at -70°C for reserved. Subtype identification were conducted through RT-PCR and through standard hemagglutination inhibition and neuraminidase inhibition assays. One influenza virus was isolated and named: A/swine/Guangdong/1/2010(H1N2).
The virus RNA was extracted from allantoic fluid by using TRIzol reagents (Invitrogen). RT-PCR was performed as a one-step reaction with the TAKARA OneStep RT-PCR Kit, according to manufacturer's protocol. The primer of reverse transcription used 12 bp (5-AGC AAA AGC AGG-3). cDNAs were synthesized at 37°C for 1 h using M-MLV reverse-transcription system (Promega). Full-length PCR amplification of eight RNA segments was performed with a set of primer. The genome of this H1N2 SIV was sequenced fully as described previously, with the GenBank accession numbers HQ85339 to HQ853346.
Sequence homology of each gene from A/swine/Guangdong/1/2010 (H1N2) and reference virus sequences available in GenBank.
Virus with the highest degree of homology
Nucleotide sequence Identity (%)
Influenza virus lineage
A/swine/Hong Kong/915/2004(H1N2) [GQ229270]
A/swine/Hong Kong/1110/2006(H1N2) [GQ229371]
Phylogenetic trees of the nucleotide sequences of NP, M and NS were involved in the classical SIV lineage. Different subtype triple reassortment influenza viruses still stand with them in the same clade. PB2 and PA was likely originated from North America avian-like SIV lineage. PB1 was close to human H3N2 lineage as the NA gene. (By way of example, the phylograms for the PB1, PB2, PA, NP, M and NS genes of the viruses featured in the present study are available in the additional files 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6).
The PB1-F2 protein of influenza A virus encoded by an alternative reading frame in the PB1 polymerase gene, contains various lengths, amino acid sequences, cellular localizations and functions, which in terms displays strain-specific pathogenicity. The PB1-F2 of A/swine/Guangdong/1/2010 expressed a truncated protein including 57 amino acid like most human H1N1 viruses, which has a low homology with A/New York/568/1996 and other triple reassortment influenza virus (86.2%). It is different from A/Swine/Indiana/9K035/99 which coded full-length PB1-F2. The truncated protein may change the levels of expression and cellular localizations . The NS1 protein of this virus contains 219 amino acid, it loss the PL motifs (PDZ domain ligand, PL), which located in 227-230aa. This feature is the same with recent classical SIV H1N1 .
In China, classical swine influenza virus has been existing since 1996. In the previous epidemiological study, H3N2 infected pigs in this area. The H1N2 was reported in 2004, which is a human-swine reassortment virus . In this study we find the multiple reassortment viruses, it confirmed the swine as a mixing vessel in transmission. This deserves to be paid attention. Especially swine population was seized with FMD after the SIV infected pigs in this area. The 2009 H1N1 pandemic virus is a swine-origin reassortant: HA, NP and NS from classical swine (North American) lineage; PB2 and PA from avian (North American) lineage; PB1 from human seasonal H3N2; and NA and M from Eurasian swine lineage . Southern China is designated as a putative influenza epicenter . Both 1957 and 1968 pandemic influenza emerged from this area. The precursors of currently still ongoing H5N1 HPAIVs were identified also in Southern China. Recently H6 AIVs have been identified in this area . The current situation, therefore, presents continued risk for further reassortment of swine influenza virus in pig populations and continuous monitoring of this virus in swine population will be needed.
Nucleotide sequence accession numbers
Nucleotide sequences from the A/swine/Guangdong/1/2010 (H1N2) isolate have been submitted to GenBank with accession numbers HQ85339 to HQ853346.
Phylogenetic trees for H1N2 swine influenza virus isolated from southern China: (1) PB2; (2) PB1; (3) PA; (4) NP; (5) MP; and (6) NS
This study was supported by the National Basic Research Program (973 Project) from China Ministry of Science and Technology (Grant No. 2011CB504703-1) and International Cooperative Projects (Grant No.S2011ZR0429) and China Guangdong hundred thousand engineering.
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