Volume 11 Issue 120
Published - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 11-May-2009 
Next Update - 14:00 UC 08:00 EST 12-May-2009

Editor: Susan K. Boyer, RN
Vidyya.
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Swine flu: What does it do to pigs?

(11 May 2009: VIDYYA MEDICAL NEWS SERVICE) -- The effects of H1N1 swine flu have been investigated in a group of piglets. Scientists writing in BioMed Central's open access Virology Journal studied the pathology of the virus, finding that all infected animals showed flu-like symptoms between one and four days after infection and were shedding virus two days after infection.

Roongroje Thanawongnuwech led a team of researchers from Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, who infected 22-day old pigs with both the H1N1 strain of swine flu and the less dangerous H3N2 subtype. He said, "The results demonstrated that both swine flu subtypes were able to induce flu-like symptoms and lung lesions in weanling pigs. 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 symptoms such as nasal discharge, coughing, sneezing and conjunctivitis. Upon pathological examination, lung lesions large enough to be seen by the naked eye were observed. According to Thanawongnuwech, "These lesions were characterized by dark plum-colored, consolidated areas on lung lobes and were most severe two days after infection, especially in the H1N1-infected pigs, where approximately a third of the lung was covered". The course of infection was limited to less than a week and none of the animals died.

1. Pathogenesis of swine influenza virus (Thai isolates) in weanling pigs: an experimental trial

Donruethai Sreta, Roongtham Kedkovid, Sophon Tuamsang, Pravina Kitikoon and Roongroje Thanawongnuwech

Virology Journal 2009, 6:34 doi:10.1186/1743-422X-6-34

Article available at journal website: http://www.virologyj.com/content/6/1/34

2. Virology Journal is an Open Access, peer-reviewed, online journal that presents high-quality original research concerning viruses, and establishes a strategic alternative to the traditional virology communication process.

3. BioMed Central (http://www.biomedcentral.com/) is an STM (Science, Technology and Medicine) publisher which has pioneered the open access publishing model. All peer-reviewed research articles published by BioMed Central are made immediately and freely accessible online, and are licensed to allow redistribution and reuse. BioMed Central is part of Springer Science+Business Media, a leading global publisher in the STM sector.

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