Chinese scientists have discovered a still unknown strain of swine flu, which is potentially capable of causing a new pandemic, the US Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences scientific journal has reported
MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik – 30th June, 2020) Chinese scientists have discovered a still unknown strain of swine flu, which is potentially capable of causing a new pandemic, the US Proceedings of the National academy of Sciences scientific journal has reported.
As a result of monitoring an influenza virus in pigs, considered as “mixing vessels” for generating pandemic influenza viruses, from 2011 to 2018, the researchers detected a recently emerged genotype 4 (G4) reassortant Eurasian avian-like (EA) H1N1 virus, or G4 EA H1N1, which bears pdm/09 genes that triggered the 2009 flu pandemic and has been prevalent in swine populations since 2016, the journal said on Monday.
According to the scientists, G4 viruses like the pdm/09 virus can bind to human-type receptors, producing a virus with much stronger infectivity in human airway epithelial cells.
In addition, due to serological surveillance among the occupational exposure population, the researchers established that 10.4 percent of swine workers, or 35 out of 338, tested positive for the G4 EA H1N1 virus, especially those aged between 18 and 35 years old.
Such infectivity, according to the scientists, greatly enhances the opportunity for the virus to adapt to humans and raises concerns about the possible generation of pandemic viruses.