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Outbreaks of classical swine influenza in pigs in England in 1986
  1. DH Roberts,
  2. SF Cartwright and
  3. G Wibberley


Serum samples from pig herds in Great Britain have been examined for antibodies to influenza virus since 1968. Antibodies to H3N2 virus strains have been found since 1968 and the serological data presented here suggests that H3N2 virus strains continue to persist in the pig population. An outbreak of acute respiratory disease occurred in a 400-sow unit. The outbreak was characterised by coughing, anorexia, fever, inappetence and loss of condition. The gilts and weaners were affected and the morbidity approached 100 per cent. An influenza A virus designated A/Swine/Weybridge/117316/86 (H1N1) was isolated from the herd and 28 paired serum samples from the affected animals showed increases in the haemagglutination inhibition titres to this isolate. Haemagglutinin and neuraminidase characterisation indicated that the virus is similar to H1N1 viruses isolated recently from pigs in Europe. A total of 91 herds experiencing respiratory disease were investigated, of which 42 gave positive reactions in the haemagglutination inhibition test. Antibodies to A/Port Chalmers/1/73 (H3N2) were also detected in some of the herds but it is not known whether this strain plays any role in the current respiratory disease problems in pigs.

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