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Swine Influenza -- Biology and Disease Description

Swine Influenza -- Biology and Disease Description

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Published by: adalbertop on Apr 28, 2009
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SWINE INFLUENZA
Carol G. Woodlief College of Veterinary MedicineNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleigh, NC 27606Swine Influenza is an acute, febrile respiratory disease of swine with high morbidity and low mortality. Itis commonly known in the industry as Swine Flu, Hog Flu, and Pig Flu. The etiology of Hog Flu is a TypeA Influenza virus which belongs to the Orthomyxoviridae family. It is an enveloped, RNA virus with alipid envelope and a helical nucleocapsid.There are two structural proteins present on the virus. A Hemagglutinin and Neuraminidase protein. Thereare 13 different types of Hemagglutinin proteins. This hemagglutin protein is responsible for theattachment of the virus to the host-cell and for fusion of the viral envelope to the host-cell membrane.This results in agglutination of red blood cells. There are 9 different types of the neuraminidase protein. Itis responsible for elution of virus from erythrocytes. It may play a role in the release of virus from infectedcells.These proteins play important roles in antibody formation and function. Antibodies to the hemagglutininare responsible for preventing infection with an influenza virus containing the same hemagglutinin protein.Where as antibodies against the neuraminidase restrict the spread of virus from infected cells.The antigenic characteristics of the 2 surface glycoproteins are the bases for dividing the virus intosubtypes. The four main subtypes which have been isolated in swine are H1N1, H1N2, H3N2, and H1N7.Studies have shown that 30% of the entire swine population in the U.S. have been exposed to H1N1. Morespecifically, 51% of swine in the north central U.S. have been exposed.
Transmission
Influenza is transmitted primarily pig-to-pig by the nasopharyngeal route. Nasal secretions are laden withvirus during the acute febrile stage. The virus is easily carried and spread by avian species, particularlywaterfowl, and humans. Care should be taken to prevent spread from and between birds and humans toswine. The virus can be shed for 30 days post-inoculation and has been recovered from clinically normalanimals.
Clinical Signs
The clinical signs of Swine Influenza are typical flu-like symptoms. The pigs will develop a fever, (40.5oC
Swine Influenza SIVhttp://mark.asci.ncsu.edu/HealthyHogs/book1994/woodlief.htm1 de 327/04/2009 06:24 p.m.
 
- 41.7oC), nasal and ocular discharge, and severe spasms of coughing. They will appear lethargic andbecome anorectic. These signs will appear very suddenly, spread rapidly throughout the entire barn, andpersist for about 7 days. Then the pigs will almost recover about as quickly as they develop clinical signs.These outbreaks typically occur in the fall and early winter, and are more frequently seen in nurserythrough finishing age pigs.
Pathogenesis and Pathology
It is speculated that pigs maintain the virus by passing the virus to young susceptible animals. The virus isprobably in constant circulation but there is not any evidence to confirm the existence of a long term truecarrier state. The incubation period for swine influenza virus ranges from 1 to 3 days. The virus is inhaledand deposited on the surface of the lower respiratory tract. Research has shown that a widespreadinterstitial pneumonia will exist up to 21 days after infection and hemorrhagic lymph nodes will be seen. Amajor concern with Swine Influenza is the economic loss seen with uneven growth and prolonged finishingtime. It has been documented that these pigs will lose from 5 to 12 pounds of body weight over a 3 to 4week period.Typically, uncomplicated infections have changes seen in the cranial ventral lung lobes. There is generallya sharp line of demarcation between normal and affected lung tissue. The involved areas are often purpleand firm. Some interlobular edema may also be evident. The airways are likely to be filled with blood-tinged fibrinous exudate. Often the bronchial and mediastinal lymph nodes are enlarged. Severe cases mayresult in a fibrinous pleuritis. Microscopic lesions usually consist of airways filled with exudate,widespread alveolar atelectasis, interstitial pneumonia and emphysema. Peribronchial and perivascularcellular infiltration is also seen.
Diagnosis
Diagnosis of Swine Influenza can be based on clinical signs, virus isolation, histopathological confirmationof lesions, paired serology, and antigen detection.
Treatment
The treatment for Swine Influenza is pretty basic. The primary treatment is supportive therapy. Theseinfected pigs require a dry, clean, dust free environment. We need to decrease any drafts which may be inthe barns so that the pigs will be as comfortable as possible. Be sure to avoid any stress to the animals. Donot move any animals or mix animals from different pens. Antibiotics are also essential to treat and controlany secondary bacterial infections that usually develop. Water medication does not seem to work asefficiently as parenteral injections to clinically infected animals. Expectorants are commonly used as aherd treatment and are administered in the drinking water.
Prevention and Control
The best way to deal with Swine Influenza is to prevent the occurrence and spread of the disease. Thereare certain parameters that one can follow that will prevent and control the disease in a herd.Limited movement ia a herd is essential. Try to avoid purchasing new stock and avoid taking animals toexhibits where they will be in contact with other animals. One should also avoid moving any animalswithin the barn itself to eliminate any excess stress. If any new herd additions are to be entered into aherd, be sure to isolate these animals, preferably in a separate building. Screen these animals by serologyto determine if these animals have been exposed to Swine Influenza, and if so virus isolation should beconsidered.Standard sanitary measures can also help prevent and control the spread of virus. Influenza A viruses are
Swine Influenza SIVhttp://mark.asci.ncsu.edu/HealthyHogs/book1994/woodlief.htm2 de 327/04/2009 06:24 p.m.

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