Influenza A virus is a potent pathogen of annual respiratory illness with huge potential of causing occasional pandemics of catastrophic consequences. In April 2009, a novel, swine-origin influenza A H1N1/09 virus was identified in Mexico which continued to spread globally. This unique virus emerged from an avian, human, Eurasian swine viral strain and a North American swine strain belonging to the lineage of the 1930 swine virus. Till date H1N1/09 pandemic has been relatively mild and lacks the previously described molecular markers of influenza A pathogenicity and transmissibility. In this review, we will discuss the molecular and antigenic determinants of this virus and its designation as a low pathogenic strain, which carries the potential to develop into a devastating strain with subsequent mutations and reassortments.
- Antigenic determinants