The objective of this international collaborative study was to compare recent swine isolates of influenza viruses and determine whether significant antigenic differences among isolates from different areas of the world could be detected. H1N1 viruses isolated from pigs, birds and humans in 12 different countries were compared in haemagglutination-inhibition assays with post-infection ferret sera and monoclonal antibodies to H1N1 strains. Using A/NJ/8/76 as the reference strain, we found that recent swine isolates from Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, and the USA possess a haemagglutinin virtually indistinguishable from that of viruses typically associated with pigs, i.e., A/NJ/8/76. In contrast, recent swine isolates from several European countries (Belgium, Denmark, France, Federal Republic of Germany, and Spain) were distinguishable from A/NJ/8/76, as demonstrated by tests in the various laboratories. These studies suggest that the H1N1 viruses in pigs are antigenically heterogeneous and that the circulation of particular variants is associated with the geographical location of the animals. These results raise the question of whether these viruses originated from the same source, i.e., pigs, and have undergone antigenic drift or, alternatively, were introduced from other hosts, such as birds.