In April 2009, pandemic H1N1/09 influenza, which originated from swine influenza, appeared in North America, and it has since spread globally among humans. It is important to know how swine influenza A virus broke the host barrier to cause a pandemic. We analyzed 673 strains of human, avian, and swine influenza viruses and assessed the internal genes PB2, PB1, PA, NP, M, and NS. Here we found accumulation of mutations in segments that were retained as well as introduced due to genetic reassortment of viruses. The retained segments may have to mutate to accommodate new segments. The mutations caused by interaction among segments retained and introduced due to reassortment between swine influenza viruses may have increased the adaptation of the virus to humans, leading to pandemic H1N1/09. We indicate the sites that probably contributed to the acquisition of efficient human-to-human transmission.
- Influenza virus