The article entitled "Long-term evolution and transmission dynamics of swine influenza A virus" by Vidjaykrishna D. et al. has been published in Nature. This largest long term Influenza surveillance in pigs by HKU leads to a better understanding of pandemic Influenza emergence.
In 2009, a novel Influenza A H1N1 virus (pandemic H1N1/2009 virus) emerged from pigs which caused the first influenza pandemic of the 21st century. Previous studies by virologists from The University of Hong Kong Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine and others have highlighted the fact that our understanding on the origins and emergence of the pandemic H1N1/2009 virus is greatly hindered by the lack of global systemic surveillance of swine influenza virus.
In order to fill this important knowledge-gap on pandemic emergence, subsequent to the previous studies, the same HKU research team led by Prof Yi GUAN and Prof Malik PEIRIS, HKU-PRC Scientific Director, analyzed more than 600 swine influenza viruses collected over 30 years from this region ⎯ the largest and most comprehensive systematic study on swine influenza virus worldwide so far. They found that swine influenza viruses are a highly dynamic population with movement of viruses across continents, leading to genetic reassortment and the emergence of hybrid viruses.
More information available in the HKU press release.