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Evidence for Cross-species Influenza A Virus Trans

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    Posted: September 19 2017 at 8:45am
Evidence for Cross-species Influenza A Virus Transmission within Swine Farms, China: A One Health, Prospective Cohort Study

Mai-Juan Ma,   Guo-Lin Wang,   Benjamin D Anderson,   Zhen-Qiang Bi, Bing Lu, Xian-Jun Wang, Chuang-Xin Wang, Shan-Hui Chen, Yan-Hua Qian,   Shao-Xia Song



Our understanding of influenza A virus transmission between humans and pigs is limited.


Beginning in 2015, we used a One Health approach and serial sampling to prospectively study 299 swine workers and 100 controls, their 9000 pigs, and six pig farm environments in China for influenza A viruses (IAVs) using molecular, culture, and immunological techniques. Study subjects were closely monitored for influenza-like illness (ILI) events.


Upon enrollment, swine workers had higher serum neutralizing antibody titers against swine H1N1 and higher nasal wash total IgA and specific IgA titers against swine H1N1 and H3N2 viruses. Over a period of 12 months, IAVs were detected by qRT-PCR in 46 (11.6%) of 396 environmental swabs, 235 (7.1%) of 3300 pig oral secretion, 23 (5.8%) of 396 water, 20 (5.1%) of 396 aerosol, and 19 (4.8%) of 396 fecal-slurry specimens. Five (15.6%) of 32 subjects with ILI events had nasopharyngeal swab specimens that were positive for IAV and 17 (53.1%) demonstrated 4-fold rises in neutralization titers against a swine virus. Reassorted Eurasian avian-lineage H1N1, pdm09(H1N1)-like, and swine-lineage H3N2 viruses were identified in pig farms. The pdm09(H1N1)-like H1N1 viruses identified in swine were nearly genetically identical to the human H1N1 viruses isolated from the subjects with ILI.


There was considerable evidence of A(H1N1)pdm09-like, swine-lingeage H1N1 and swine-lineage H3N2 viruses circulating, likely reassorting, and likely crossing species within the pig farms. These data suggest that stronger surveillance for novel influenza virus emergence within swine farms is imperative.
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