Influenza A virus subtype H1N1
Influenza virus (H1N1) is the subtype of influenza A virus that was the most common cause of human influenza (flu) in 2009, and is associated with the 1918 outbreak known as the Spanish flu. It is an orthomyxovirus that contains the glycoproteins haemagglutinin and neuraminidase. For this reason, they are described as H1N1, H1N2 etc. depending on the type of H or N antigens they express with metabolic synergy. Haemagglutinin causes red blood cells to clump together and binds the virus to the infected cell. Neuraminidase is a type of glycoside hydrolase enzyme which helps to move the virus particles through the infected cell and assist in budding from the host cells. Some strains of H1N1 are endemic in humans and cause a small fraction of all influenza-like illness and a small fraction of all seasonal influenza. H1N1 strains caused a small percentage of all human flu infections in 2004–2005. Other strains of H1N1 are endemic in pigs (swine influenza) and in birds (avian influenza). In June 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the new strain of swine-origin H1N1 as a pandemic. This novel virus spread worldwide and had caused about 17,000 deaths by the start of 2010. On 10 August 2010, the World Health Organization declared the H1N1 influenza pandemic over, saying worldwide flu activity had returned to typical seasonal patterns.
Swine influenza (also known as swine flu or pig flu) is a respiratory disease that occurs in pigs that is caused by the Influenza A virus. Influenza viruses that are normally found in swine are known as swine influenza viruses (SIVs). The known SIV strains include influenza C and the subtypes of influenza A known as H1N1, H1N2, H3N1, H3N2 and H2N3. Pigs can also become infected with the H4N6 and H9N2 subtypes.Swine influenza virus is common throughout pig populations worldwide. Transmission of the virus from pigs to humans is not common and does not always lead to human influenza, often resulting only in the production of antibodies in the blood. If transmission does cause human influenza, it is called zoonotic swine flu or a variant virus. People with regular exposure to pigs are at increased risk of swine flu infection. The meat of an infected animal poses no risk of infection when properly cooked. Pigs experimentally infected with the strain of swine flu that caused the human pandemic of 2009–10 showed clinical signs of flu within four days, and the virus spread to other uninfected pigs housed with the infected ones.
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