JMM Profile: Swine influenza A virus: a neglected virus with pandemic potential


Swine influenza is an acute respiratory disease of swine caused by swine influenza A virus (SwIAV). The ability of SwIAV to spread bidirectionally from animals to humans (zoonotic), and from humans to animals (reverse zoonotic), drives coinfection that can result in gene segment exchange and elevates the risk of generating viruses with pandemic potential. Compared to human-origin influenza A viruses, current data indicate a greater diversity amongst circulating SwIAVs, with three major subtypes (classified by haemagglutinin and neuraminidase) circulating globally in swine (H1N1, H1N2 and H3N2). The lack of protection afforded by human seasonal influenza vaccines against SwIAVs exacerbates the risk associated with reassortment of human, swine and potentially avian viruses. As such, global monitoring of SwIAVs is important for both human and animal health as they represent a true 'One Health' challenge with pandemic potential.

Journal details

Volume 72
Issue number 1
Pages 001623
Available online
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Crick labs/facilities

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Crick First author
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