H1N1 is a "rotten pot", plus the beginnings of vaccine plans

A ProMED mail from yesterday (Archive Number 20090430.1636) has some interesting tidbits.

First, following up on the confusion over the genetic origins of "H1N1 Influenza A", the group at Columbia states:

Preliminary analysis of the genome of the new H1N1 influenza A virus responsible for the current pandemic indicates that all genetic segments are related closest to those of common swine influenza viruses.

...Six segments of the virus are related to swine viruses from North America and the
other 2 (NA and M) from swine viruses isolated in Europe/Asia.

The North American ancestors are related to the multiple reassortants, H1N2 and H3N2 swine viruses isolated in North America since 1998 [2,3]. In particular, the swine H3N2 isolates from 1998 were a triple reassortment of human, swine and avian origin.

Therefore, this preliminary analysis suggests at least 2 swine ancestors to the current H1N1, one of them related to the triple reassortant viruses isolated in North America in 1998.

So, it's composed of all recent pig viruses, but displays some inheritance from human and avian strains from a decade ago.  It's a flu potpourri!  And here I intend the original French meaning of the word potpourri -- "rotten pot".

On the vaccine front, there is a mix of efforts.  It is unclear when a traditional vaccine might show up.  However, the ProMED mail does contain an excerpt of a Scientific American story that suggests Novavax is already working on a VLP synthetic vaccine, possibly confirming my earlier speculation.