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PLoS One. 2010 Nov 23;5(11):e15537. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0015537.

Guinea pig model for evaluating the potential public health risk of swine and avian influenza viruses.

Author information

1
Key Laboratory of Zoonosis of Ministry of Agriculture, College of Veterinary Medicine, China Agricultural University, Beijing, China.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The influenza viruses circulating in animals sporadically transmit to humans and pose pandemic threats. Animal models to evaluate the potential public health risk potential of these viruses are needed.

METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:

We investigated the guinea pig as a mammalian model for the study of the replication and transmission characteristics of selected swine H1N1, H1N2, H3N2 and avian H9N2 influenza viruses, compared to those of pandemic (H1N1) 2009 and seasonal human H1N1, H3N2 influenza viruses. The swine and avian influenza viruses investigated were restricted to the respiratory system of guinea pigs and shed at high titers in nasal tracts without prior adaptation, similar to human strains. None of the swine and avian influenza viruses showed transmissibility among guinea pigs; in contrast, pandemic (H1N1) 2009 virus transmitted from infected guinea pigs to all animals and seasonal human influenza viruses could also horizontally transmit in guinea pigs. The analysis of the receptor distribution in the guinea pig respiratory tissues by lectin histochemistry indicated that both SAα2,3-Gal and SAα2,6-Gal receptors widely presented in the nasal tract and the trachea, while SAα2,3-Gal receptor was the main receptor in the lung.

CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:

We propose that the guinea pig could serve as a useful mammalian model to evaluate the potential public health threat of swine and avian influenza viruses.

PMID:
21124850
PMCID:
PMC2990763
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0015537
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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