One health, multiple challenges: The inter-species transmission of influenza A virus
Two people developed symptoms of influenza 36 h after collecting nasal swabs from pigs experimentally infected with A/Sw/IN/1726/88 (Sw/IN). Pharyngeal swabs from these persons tested positive for influenza virus RNA 8 days after infection. Analysis of hemi-nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) products indicated that the hemagglutinin (HA) segments of the isolates were genetically related to the HA of Sw/IN. Four influenza A virus isolates (A/WI/4754/94, A/WI/4756/94, A/WI/4758/94, A/WI/4760/94) were recovered from a 39-year-old man and 2 (A/WI/4755/94, A/WI/4757/94) from a 31-year-old woman. The HAs of the isolates were antigenically indistinguishable from the virus used to infect the pigs. Sequence analysis of the HA genes indicated they were 99.7% identical to the HA of the virus used in the experiment. Multisegment reverse transcription-PCR proved that all of the segments originated from Sw/IN, demonstrating that transmission of swine H1N1 viruses to humans occurs directly and readily, despite Animal Biosafety Level 3 containment practices used for these experiments.