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PB1 E618D Signals Emerging trH3N2 Pandemic
Recombinomics Commentary 13:40
November 18, 2010

In addition to full sets of sequences from the recent trH3N2 cases, the CDC also released sequences (at GISAID) from prior cases of swine H1 in humans (see list here).  Included were classical swine H1N1 examples from the 1990’s as well as trH1N1 sequences from infections prior to the 2009 H1N1 pandemic (collected between 2006 and 2009).

These sequences provide new insight into the evolution of triple reassortants in the United States.  The recent trH3N2 sequences indicate that four are closely related (from KS, MN, WI, PA) and all four have a PB1 with E618D.  That change is in almost all pH1N1, but is not in the earlier trH1N1 sequences, including A/Illinois/09/2007, which like the four trH3N2 sequences, is closely related to the human and swine sequences from the Huron, Ohio outbreak.

The fifth trH3N2 PB1 sequence, A/Iowa/16/2009, is related to two earlier trH1N1 sequences, (A/Texas/14/2009 and A/Minnesota/10/2009).

The presence of PB1 E618D in virtually all pH1N1 sequences as well as four of the five trH3N2 sequences signals an emerging swine H3N2 pandemic.

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