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Descriptive clinical and epidemiological characteristics of influenza A H1N1 2009 virus infections in pigs in England
  1. S. M. Williamson, BVetMed, PhD, MRCVS
  1. Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency, – Weybridge, Addlestone, Surrey KT15 3NB, UK
  1. A. W. Tucker, VetMB, PhD, DipECVPH, DipECPHM, MRCVS
  1. Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0ES, UK
  1. I. S. McCrone, BVSc, CertCHP, MRCVS
  1. Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0ES, UK
  1. C. A. Bidewell, BVetMed, MSc, MRCVS
  1. Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency, – Weybridge, Addlestone, Surrey KT15 3NB, UK
  1. N. Brons, MVM
  1. Formerly Town Farm, Hoxne, Eye, Suffolk IP21 5DB, UK
  1. H. Habernoll, DrMedVet, MRCVS
  1. Formerly Town Farm, Hoxne, Eye, Suffolk IP21 5DB, UK
  1. S. C. Essen
  1. Formerly 1 Stradbroke Business Centre, New Street, Stradbroke, Suffolk IP21 5JJ, UK
  1. I. H. Brown, CBiol, MIBiol, PhD
  1. Formerly 1 Stradbroke Business Centre, New Street, Stradbroke, Suffolk IP21 5JJ, UK
  1. COSI
  1. Combating Swine Influenza, Wellcome Trust-MRC-BBSRC-Defra UK consortium
  1. J. L. N. Wood, BSc, BVetMed, MSc, MA, PhD, DLSHTM MRCVS FSB
  1. E-mail for correspondence: susanna.williamson{at}ahvla.gsi.gov.uk

Abstract

Infection of pigs with influenza A H1N1 2009 virus (A(H1N1)pdm09) was first detected in England in November 2009 following global spread of the virus in the human population. This paper describes clinical and epidemiological findings in the first English pig farms in which A(H1N1)pdm09 influenza virus was detected. These farms showed differences in disease presentation, spread and duration of infection. The factors likely to influence these features are described and relate to whether pigs were housed or outdoors, the age of the pigs, inter-current disease and the management system of the unit. Infection could be mild or clinically inapparent in breeding pigs with more typical respiratory disease being identified later in their progeny. Mortality was low where disease was uncomplicated by environmental stresses or concurrent infections. Where deaths occurred in pigs infected with A(H1N1)pdm09 influenza, they were mainly due to other infections, including streptococcal disease due to Streptococcus suis infection. This paper demonstrates the ease with which A(H1N1)pdm09 virus was transmitted horizontally and maintained in a pig population.

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