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Origins and evolutionary genomics of the 2009 H1N1/Swine Flu

A letter to Nature by researchers from the Universities of Hong Kong, Edinburgh, Arizona, and Oxford claims "a phylogenetic estimate of the gaps in genetic surveillance indicates a long period of unsampled ancestry before the S-OIV [H1N1] outbreak, suggesting that the reassortment of swine lineages may have occurred years before human emergence, and that the multiple genetic ancestry of S-OIV is not indicative of an artificial origin. Furthermore, the unsampled history of the epidemic means that the nature and location of the genetically closest swine viruses reveal little about the immediate origin of the epidemic, despite the fact that we included a panel of closely related and previously unpublished swine influenza isolates."

The authors suggest we need more systematic surveillance of influenza in swine.
 
 

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