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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Virus and Prion Research

Title: Flu virus continues to evolve in swine

item Gauger, Phillip
item Zhang, Jianqiang
item Vincent, Amy

Submitted to: National Hog Farmer
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/12/2012
Publication Date: 6/19/2012
Citation: Gauger, P.C., Zhang, J., Vincent, A.L. 2012. Flu virus continues to evolve in swine. National Hog Farmer. Available:

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Swine can be infected with human- and avian-adapted influenza viruses, which has labeled pigs as "mixing vessels" for generating novel, genetically diverse viruses that may have epidemic or pandemic potential. However, it has been documented that humans, some species of birds and other mammals may also play a role in the evolution of influenza viruses. This highlights the importance of surveillance in human and avian populations as well as swine and other non-human mammals. One can only speculate as to why influenza viruses have changed so rapidly in swine since 1998. However, genetically and antigenically diverse influenza viruses will likely continue to emerge in both the human and swine populations in the future. Monitoring and surveillance of emerging influenza viruses will require engaging both human and animal health officials, researchers and diagnostic laboratories in a cooperative effort that must benefit all involved. Furthermore, continued surveillance and sharing of information, particularly in the swine sector, demonstrates an ongoing responsibility, as well as concern, that the U.S. pork industry has for its producers and consumers. Ultimately, the goal is to prevent costly flu-related respiratory disease in the swine population, protect the pork industry from misleading information, and protect the human population to which the pork industry provides protein. These early years of the USDA surveillance program will provide the baseline from which the benefits of long-term surveillance for SIV can come to fruition.

Last Modified: 10/17/2017
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