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Transbound Emerg Dis. 2014 Dec;61(6):490-9. doi: 10.1111/tbed.12053. Epub 2013 Jan 8.

Infection dynamics of pandemic 2009 H1N1 influenza virus in a two-site swine herd.

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  • 1Department of Veterinary Population Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota, Saint Paul, MN, USA.


Influenza A viruses are common causes of respiratory disease in pigs and can be transmitted among multiple host species, including humans. The current lack of published information on infection dynamics of influenza viruses within swine herds hinders the ability to make informed animal health, biosecurity and surveillance programme decisions. The objectives of this serial cross-sectional study were to describe the infection dynamics of influenza virus in a two-site swine system by estimating the prevalence of influenza virus in animal subpopulations at the swine breeding herd and describing the temporal pattern of infection in a selected cohort of growing pigs weaned from the breeding herd. Nasal swab and blood samples were collected at approximately 30-day intervals from the swine breeding herd (Site 1) known to be infected with pandemic 2009 H1N1 influenza virus. Sows, gilts and neonatal pigs were sampled at each sampling event, and samples were tested for influenza virus genome using matrix gene RRT-PCR. Influenza virus was detected in neonatal pigs, but was not detected in sow or gilt populations via RRT-PCR. A virus genetically similar to that detected in the neonatal pig population at Site 1 was also detected at the wean-to-finish site (Site 2), presumably following transportation of infected weaned pigs. Longitudinal sampling of nasal swabs and oral fluids revealed that influenza virus persisted in the growing pigs at Site 2 for at least 69 days. The occurrence of influenza virus in neonatal pigs, but not breeding females, at Site 1 emphasizes the potential for virus maintenance in this dynamic subpopulation, the importance of including this subpopulation in surveillance programmes and the potential transport of influenza virus between sites via the movement of weaned pigs.


epidemiology; infection dynamics; influenza virus; pandemic H1N1; pigs

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