Public Health France, or Santé Publique France reported Friday a human case H1N2v influenza variant in a man from Côtes d’Armor, in the north of Brittany, in northwestern France.
The National Reference Center for Respiratory Infections Viruses at the Pasteur Institute confirmed the infection. This is the first detection in humans of this virus in France.
The patient reportedly had exposure to live pigs in the week prior to onset of symptoms. He is in good condition and none of his close contacts have become symptomatic.
The virus detected in this human case is genetically close to porcine viruses recently detected in Brittany and elsewhere in France, identified as being of the “H1N2” genotype by the National Reference Laboratory (LNR) Porcine Influenza (ANSES), comprising a gene HA (hemagglutinin) which belongs to clade 1C.2.4.
This clade was identified in 2020 as an emerging lineage diffusing in the pig population in Europe (France, Denmark, Italy and Spain in particular). It was first detected in pigs in Brittany in February 2020. In areas where it is currently actively circulating, it quickly became the majority virus among all influenza viruses detected in pig farms.
Virological and genetic analyzes are underway at the CNR and at the National Reference Laboratory for porcine influenza viruses (ANSES) to characterize this virus, and in particular to identify possible markers of adaptation to humans and virulence.
Due to the active circulation of this virus within the pig herd in France, it is advisable to make a systematic search for influenza viruses (type and subtype) in any person exposed to pigs, and presenting a clinical picture compatible with a acute respiratory infection and a negative test for SARS-CoV-2.
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