Tuesday, May 26, 2009

What does swine flu do to piglets?

Issue Date: Veterinary Forum
May 2009
(Vol 26, No 5)

What does swine flu do to piglets?

BANGKOK, Thailand — Researchers studying the effects of H1N1 influenza in a group of piglets have found that all infected animals showed flu-like signs 1 to 4 days after infection and were shedding virus 2 days after infection, according to Virology Journal.

Roongroje Thanawongnuwech, DVM, PhD, led a team of researchers from Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, who infected piglets 3 weeks of age with both the H1N1 strain of swine flu and the less dangerous H3N2 subtype.

“The results demonstrated that both swine flu subtypes were able to induce flu-like signs and lung lesions in weanling pigs,” Thanawongnuwech said. “However, the severity of the disease with regard to both gross and microscopic lung lesions was greater in the H1N1-infected pigs.”

All infected pigs developed respiratory signs, such as nasal discharge, coughing, sneezing and conjunctivitis. On pathologic examination, lung lesions large enough to be seen without a microscope were observed. According to Thanawongnuwech, “these lesions were characterized by dark, plum-colored, consolidated areas on lung lobes and were most severe 2 days after infection, especially in the H1N1-infected pigs, where approximately one-third of the lung was covered.” The course of infection was limited to 1 week or less. None of the animals died.

Veterinary Forum

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