Of the Orthomyxoviridae family of viruses, only influenza A viruses are thought to exist as multiple subtypes and has nonhuman maintenance hosts. In April 2011, nasal swabs were collected for virus isolation from pigs exhibiting influenza-like illness. Subsequent electron microscopic, biochemical, and genetic studies identified an orthomyxovirus with seven RNA segments exhibiting approximately 50% overall amino acid identity to human influenza C virus. Based on its genetic organizational similarities to influenza C viruses this virus has been provisionally designated C/Oklahoma/1334/2011 (C/OK). Phylogenetic analysis of the predicted viral proteins found that the divergence between C/OK and human influenza C viruses was similar to that observed between influenza A and B viruses. No cross reactivity was observed between C/OK and human influenza C viruses using hemagglutination inhibition (HI) assays. Additionally, screening of pig and human serum samples found that 9.5% and 1.3%, respectively, of individuals had measurable HI antibody titers to C/OK virus. C/OK virus was able to infect both ferrets and pigs and transmit to naive animals by direct contact. Cell culture studies showed that C/ OK virus displayed a broader cellular tropism than a human influenza C virus. The observed difference in cellular tropism was further supported by structural analysis showing that hemagglutinin esterase (HE) proteins between two viruses have conserved enzymatic but divergent receptor-binding sites. These results suggest that C/OK virus represents a new subtype of influenza C viruses that currently circulates in pigs that has not been recognized previously. The presence of multiple subtypes of co-circulating influenza C viruses raises the possibility of reassortment and antigenic shift as mechanisms of influenza C virus evolution.
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Copyright: 2013 Hause et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Hause, Ben; Ducatez, Mariette; Collin, Emily A.; Ran, Zhiguang; Liu, Runxia; Sheng, Zizhang; Armien, Anibal; Kaplan, Bryan; Chakravarty, Suvobrata; Hoppe, Adam D.; Webby, Richard J.; Simonson, Randy R.; and Li, Feng, "Isolation of a Novel Swine Influenza Virus from Oklahoma in 2011 Which Is Distantly Related to Human Influenza C Viruses" (2013). Chemistry and Biochemistry Faculty Publications. 18.
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