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Research Project: Intervention Strategies to Control Endemic and New and Emerging Influenza A Virus Infections in Swine

Location: Virus and Prion Research

Title: Reverse-zoonoses of 2009 H1N1 pandemic influenza A viruses and evolution in United States swine results in viruses with zoonotic potential

item MARKIN, ALEXEY - Iowa State University
item CIACCI ZANELLA, GIOVANA - Iowa State University
item ARENDSEE, ZEBULUN - Oak Ridge Institute For Science And Education (ORISE)
item ZHANG, JIANQIANG - Iowa State University
item KRUEGER, KAREN - Iowa State University
item GAUGER, PHILLIP - Iowa State University
item Baker, Amy
item Anderson, Tavis

Submitted to: PLoS Pathogens
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/12/2023
Publication Date: 7/27/2023
Citation: Markin, A., Ciacci Zanella, G., Arendsee, Z.W., Zhang, J., Krueger, K.M., Gauger, P.C., Baker, A.L., Anderson, T.K. 2023. Reverse-zoonoses of 2009 H1N1 pandemic influenza A viruses and evolution in United States swine results in viruses with zoonotic potential. PLoS Pathogens. 19(7). Article e1011476.

Interpretive Summary: The diversity and evolution of influenza A virus (IAV) in pigs is linked to the emergence of IAV with pandemic potential. Human-to-swine transmission of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic (pdm09) IAV lineage repeatedly occurred across the past decade and has increased genetic diversity in pigs: sporadic swine-to-human cases are associated with these viruses. We measured the frequency of human-to-swine transmission of the H1N1 pandemic IAV lineage between 2009 and 2021 and determined how this affected the diversity of IAV in swine and zoonotic risk. We detected 371 separate human-to-swine spillovers, with the frequency of interspecies transmission increasing when the burden of IAV was highest in the human population. Most spillovers were single events without sustained transmission, but a small subset resulted in the emergence, persistence, and cocirculation of different pdm09 genetic clades in US pigs. Each of the pdm09 representative of different persistent spillovers was genetically and antigenically different from human seasonal vaccine strains. The persistence of pdm09 within pigs resulted in at least five recent swine-to-human transmission events. These data suggest that controlling IAV infection in humans working with swine can minimize spillover into pigs, reduce resulting genetic diversity of IAV in pigs, and proactively reduce the potential for swine-to-human transmission of IAV with pandemic potential.

Technical Abstract: The 2009 H1N1 pandemic (pdm09) lineage of influenza A virus (IAV) crosses interspecies barriers with frequent human-to-swine spillovers each year. These spillovers reassort and drift within swine populations, leading to genetically and antigenically novel IAV that represent a zoonotic threat. We quantified interspecies transmission of the pdm09 lineage, persistence in swine, and identified how evolution in swine impacted zoonotic risk. Human and swine pdm09 case counts between 2010 and 2020 were correlated and human pdm09 burden and circulation directly impacted the detection of pdm09 in pigs. However, there was a relative absence of pdm09 circulation in humans during the 2020-21 season that was not reflected in swine. During the 2020-21 season, most swine pdm09 detections originated from human-to-swine spillovers from the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons that persisted in swine. We identified contemporary swine pdm09 representatives of each persistent spillover and quantified cross-reactivity between human seasonal H1 vaccine strains and the swine strains using a panel of monovalent ferret antisera in hemagglutination inhibition (HI) assays. The swine pdm09s had variable antigenic reactivity to vaccine antisera, but each swine pdm09 clade exhibited significant reduction in cross-reactivity to one or more of the human seasonal vaccine strains. Further supporting zoonotic risk, we showed phylogenetic evidence for 17 swine-to-human transmission events of pdm09 from 2010 to 2021, 11 of which were not previously classified as variants, with each of the zoonotic cases associated with persistent circulation of pdm09 in pigs. These data demonstrate that reverse-zoonoses and evolution of pdm09 in swine results in viruses that are capable of zoonotic transmission and represent a potential pandemic threat.