Genetic analysis of human and swine influenza A viruses isolated in Northern Italy during 2010-2015.
Influenza A virus (IAV) infection in swine plays an important role in the ecology of influenza viruses. The emergence of new IAVs comes through different mechanisms, with the genetic reassortment of genes between influenza viruses, also originating from different species, being common. We performed a genetic analysis on 179 IAV isolates from humans (n. 75) and pigs (n. 104) collected in Northern Italy between 2010 and 2015, to monitor the genetic exchange between human and swine IAVs. No cases of human infection with swine strains were noticed, but direct infections of swine with H1N1pdm09 strains were detected. Moreover, we pointed out a continuous circulation of H1N1pdm09 strains in swine populations evidenced by the introduction of internal genes of this subtype. These events contribute to generating new viral variants - possibly endowed with pandemic potential - and emphasize the importance of continuous surveillance at both animal and human level.