Evolution of an Eurasian avian-like influenza virus in naïve and vaccinated pigs

Murcia, P. R. et al. (2012) Evolution of an Eurasian avian-like influenza virus in naïve and vaccinated pigs. PLoS Pathogens, 8(5), e1002730. (doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1002730)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1002730


The latest human influenza pandemic highlights the ability of influenza viruses to jump species barriers and emerge in new hosts, as well as the role of pigs in generating viruses with pandemic potential. The mutational power of influenza virus, caused by intrinsically error-prone viral polymerases, has been directly linked to viral emergence, as adaptive mutations present in the reservoir host are likely to be key to the evolution of sustained transmission in new hosts. Hence, studying how mutations are generated, maintained and transmitted in and among pigs is critical to understanding how novel viruses could emerge. Here we characterized the evolution and mutational spectra of influenza virus populations within naïve and vaccinated pigs linked by natural transmission, by analyzing multiple viral sequences obtained at different times post-infection. We show that the genetic make-up of influenza viruses in pigs is highly dynamic: the frequency of particular mutations, including those that could potentially alter host specificity or result in vaccine escape, fluctuated markedly, including one rapid fixation event. We also show that co-infections are common and multiple viruses – even defective ones – were transmitted between pigs despite being vaccinated. Our results provide empirical evidence of the complex dynamics of influenza viral populations in pigs and provide insight on the evolutionary basis of RNA viral emergence.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hughes, Dr Joseph and Murcia, Professor Pablo
Authors: Murcia, P. R., Hughes, J., Battista, P., Lloyd, L., Baillie, G. J., Ramirez-Gonzalez, R. H., Ormond, D., Oliver, K., Elton, D., Mumford, J. A., Caccamo, M., Kellam, P., Grenfell, B. T., Holmes, E. C., and Wood, J. L.N.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Infection & Immunity
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Infection & Immunity > Centre for Virus Research
Journal Name:PLoS Pathogens
Publisher:Public Library of Science
ISSN (Online):1553-7374
Published Online:31 May 2012
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2012 The Authors
First Published:First published in PLoS Pathogens 8(5):e1002730
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher
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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
501441Centre for Integrated VirologyMassimo PalmariniMedical Research Council (MRC)G0801822MVLS III - CENTRE FOR VIRUS RESEARCH