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J Vet Diagn Invest. 2010 Sep;22(5):784-8.

Natural cases of 2009 pandemic H1N1 Influenza A virus in pet ferrets.

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Diagnostic Virology Laboratory, National Veterinary Services Laboratories, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Ames, IA 50010, USA.


Respiratory swab samples were collected from 5 pet ferrets (Mustela putorius furo) exhibiting influenza-like illness. The ferrets represented 3 households in 2 states. In each case, the owners reported influenza-like illness in themselves or family members prior to the onset of a similar illness in the ferrets. Real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction assays designed for the detection of the 2009 H1N1 Influenza A virus were conducted in the state animal health laboratories. The assays included detection of the matrix gene of Influenza A virus and neuraminidase gene specific for 2009 H1N1 virus. Samples were positive for both screening assays. The samples were confirmed positive by the National Veterinary Services Laboratories. The history of illness in family members prior to illness in the ferrets suggests that Influenza A virus was transmitted from humans to the ferrets.

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