According to new research, the 2009 pandemic H1N1 influenza strain surfaced in elephant seals a year later. The University of California, Davis, One Health Institute and Wildlife Health Center study examined nasal swabs collected from some 900 marine animals between 2009 and 2011 and found H1N1 infection in two elephant seals and antibodies to the virus in 28 more. "The study of influenza virus infections in unusual hosts, such as elephant seals, is likely to provide us with clues to understand the ability of influenza virus to jump from one host to another and initiate pandemics," said researcher Adolfo García-Sastre.

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