There has been little surveillance of influenza A viruses (IAVs) circulating in swine at live animal markets, particularly in the United States. To address this gap, we conducted active surveillance of IAVs in pigs, the air, and the environment during a summer and winter season in a live animal market in St. Paul, Minnesota, that had been epidemiologically associated with swine-origin influenza cases in humans previously. High rates of IAV were detected by PCR in swine lungs and oral fluids during both summer and winter seasons. Rates of IAV detection by PCR in the air were similar during summer and winter, although rates of successful virus isolation in the air were lower during summer than in winter (26% and 67%, respectively). H3N2 was the most prevalent subtype in both seasons, followed by H1N2. Genetically diverse viruses with multiple gene constellations were isolated from both winter and summer, with a total of 19 distinct genotypes identified. Comparative phylogenetic analysis of all eight segments of 40 virus isolates from summer and 122 isolates from winter revealed that the summer and winter isolates were genetically distinct, indicating IAVs are not maintained in the market, but rather are re-introduced, likely from commercial swine. These findings highlight the extent of IAV genetic diversity circulating in swine in live animal markets, even during summer months, and the ongoing risk to humans.
- genetic diversity
- live animal market