H1N1 is a type of influenza virus which is present mainly in pig population. In 2009 April, scientists were able to detect a similar strain in humans which caused flu like symptoms that was seen to be fast spreading and sometimes causing deaths as well. What the investigations revealed was something which was unexpected, meaning a virus strain with mix ancestral inheritance.
It has been shown by the geneticist that the present H1N1 strain which let to pandemic 2009 was a mixture of gene elements from both swine flu viruses as well as human influenza viruses. The genetic mark-up also carries all 4 strains of H1N1 which was identified earlier. Antigenically it was mentioned as being similar to the North American swine H1N1 virus but seems to be distinct from seasonal human H1N1 virus.
Research suggest that the genetic composition being different to the usual H1N1 strain indicates that the new strain and its genetic material was present in humans at undetected levels or clinically insignificant level for prolonged period of time and the introduction to humans could have occurred in a single event or through multiple inoculating instances.
When considering transmission, it has been postulated through research that previously undetected molecular marker is associated with human to human transmission and is yet to be identified.
Considering the available genetic information, several inferences can be made with regard to disease prevention and control, even though further research and analysis of available data would clarify further inconspicuousness.
Inference 1 : The genetic material seems to be relatively stable as it was suggested to be present for a prolonged duration within the humans. This was further stressed by Centre for Disease Control and Prevention by mentioning that ‘the genetic testing confirmed the present variation being similar to what was detected at the time of going into production of vaccines’. This means the vaccine would be effective against the current virus strain.
Inference 2 : The similarity between the North American swine virus and the Pandemic H1N1 focuses the production of vaccines more specific than catering to all possibilities of seasonal influenzas.
Inference 3 : The unidentified immunological marker contributing to human adaptation as well as transmission would mean that intervention regarding human transmission would be restricted to universal precautions than active interventions through medical means.
Inference 4 : The possibility of a new strain taking over in the near future as the current strain had been a mixture of many variants.