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Minnesota trH3N2 and Huron Ohio Fair trH1N1 Clusters Linked
Recombinomics Commentary 17:00
August 6, 2011

An H1N1 influenza A virus, A/swine/Ohio/24366/07, was isolated from pigs in an Ohio county fair. Twenty-six people who came in contact with the infected pigs developed respiratory disease and two of these people were laboratory confirmed as H1N1 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The A/swine/Ohio/24366/07 virus we isolated from swine was shown at the CDC to have 100% identical genome sequence to the human virus associated with the county fair.

The above comments describe a swine H1N1 isolate from pigs at a 2007 Huron county fair in Ohio. In 2009 the sequences from the two confirmed cases, an exhibitor (10F) and her father (36M) were released. The two human HA sequences, A/Ohio/01/2007 and A/Ohio/02/2007, were identical to each other and from a triple reassortant with a human PB1, avian PB2 and PA and 5 North American swine sequences for the other five gene segments.

These internal genes are closely related to genes found in human H3N2 triple reassortants (trH3N2), as well as swine H1N1 triple reassortants currently circulation such as A/swine/Minnesota/A01047613/2010 which was isolated from a sample collected December 10, 2010. 

The PB2 gene is virtually identical to the sequence from the index case (31M) in the Minnesota cluster (A.Minnesota/11/2010) and pandemic H3N2 vaccine target, which is also almost identical to two other recent human isolates, A/Wisconsin/12/2010 and A/Pennsylvania/40/2010 (see list here).  The NS genes between all four 2010 isolates are identical, and closely related to the 2007 human isolates from the Huron County fair (see list here).

The similarities extend to the other recent H3N2 triple reassortant, indicating this phylogenetic clustering is linked to the targeting of human cases and the cluster described above for the Ohio fair and the familial cluster in Minnesota raise serious concerns that the number of human trH3N2 cases is markedly higher than those reported.

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