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J Infect Dis. 2001 Sep 1;184(5):542-6. Epub 2001 Aug 2.

Ferrets as a transmission model for influenza: sequence changes in HA1 of type A (H3N2) virus.

Author information

1
Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109, USA. louise@umich.edu

Abstract

Ferrets were used as an animal model to study whether controlled transmission of type A influenza is similar to human transmission when sequence changes in HA1 are used as the outcome. Ferrets were infected initially with A/Sydney/5/97 (H3N2) or A/LA/1/87 (H3N2) intranasally, and transmission chains were established by housing infected ferrets with noninfected ferrets with no influenza antibody titer against the infecting virus. Ferrets infected with A/Sydney were seronegative for A/Sydney and A/LA; ferrets infected with A/LA were seronegative for A/LA but had hemagglutination inhibition titers against A/Sydney. Titers of naturally transmitted influenza were higher than those after direct intranasal infection, but lymphocyte counts from nasal washes diminished with transmission. Ferrets infected with A/LA had 2 amino acid differences in HA1 after transmission through 5 ferret cohorts, but those infected with A/Sydney had none. The results show the value of the ferret model. A/LA resembled the transmission of influenza in humans when under antibody pressure.

PMID:
11494159
DOI:
10.1086/322801
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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