Our Advertisers Represent Some Of The Most Unique Products & Services On Earth!

Human A-H1N1 To Pigs
Transmission In Argentina

From Patricia Doyle, PhD
Hello Jeff - The situation with the A-H1N1 pandemic human version of Swine Flu is pointing to a really bad upcoming 2009 Fall flu season here in the US and the entire Northern Hemisphere.
Just when you thought the news couldn't be worse - i.e. case of Tamiflu-resistant strain of A H1N1 - we now hear about A-H1N1 inluenza having been found in pigs in Argentina.
Date: Fri 26 Jun 2009 Source: DEFRA, Global Animal Health - International Disease Monitoring. Preliminary Outbreak Assessment.Reference: VITT 1200
A novel influenza A/H1N1 in pigs in Argentina
1. Introduction
Argentina has reported an outbreak of influenza A/H1N1 in a commercial pig farm in the Buenos Aires region [a map is included at the above URL]. The authorities have qualified this outbreak as "a new emerging disease" in the report. Introduction of the infection was attributed to human to animal transmission from workers at the farm who showed flu signs between 7 and 9 Jun 2009. According to the report, the farm was restocked from their own restocking system in July 2008. The infected pigs showed clinical signs up to 24 Jun 2009 and have now recovered. The report states that in a total population of over 5500 pigs (mixed ages) there was 30 percent morbidity but no mortality (OIE, 2009).
2. Situation assessment
This is only the 2nd time that a report to OIE qualified findings of influenza A/H1N1 in domestic pigs as "a new emerging disease". The 1st report related to a pig population in Canada in April 2009. Influenza A in pigs usually has a relatively short period of incubation (most often days, rather than weeks). Given the company restocking system and that restocking took place in mid-2008, it would be highly unlikely that this virus was present in this pig population before and remained undetected. The World Health Organisation (WHO) declared recently that novel influenza A/H1N1 has reached phase 6 of global pandemic status. To date, there have been nearly 60 000 laboratory confirmed human cases and 263 deaths reported. Confirmation of the virus in a relatively limited number of humans was reported from 105 countries. A limited number of these countries have reported deaths in humans, mainly in people with underlying health conditions (WHO, 2009).
The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) maintains that previous recommendations for OIE member countries remain valid. Namely, to monitor animal populations for signs of clinical diseases in animals; that pork and pork products handled hygienically are not a source of infection; that there is no justification for any ban on pigs and pig products; culling pigs is not recommended for animal health reasons and, if so, that any culling should be carried out according to international animal welfare standards (OIE, 2009a).
An EU study group coordinated by the Veterinary Laboratories Agency, Weybridge, UK, (VLA) has completed preliminary tests on the infection of pigs with a human-derived strain of the new variant H1N1 influenza virus. Briefly, naive pigs, inoculated intranasally, shed virus (orally and ocular) for between 1 and 10 days post-infection (dpi) with a peak at 3-5 dpi. No rectal shedding or viraemia was detected. Uninfected pigs introduced to these infected animals also became infected after contact. All infected pigs developed mild to moderate clinical and pathological signs only. (EU Study, 2009).
Accumulated evidence so far suggest that the new variant Influenza A/H1N1 continues to be primarily a human-to-human transmissible infection which generally causes mild disease in infected people. Experimental data on pig infections with this strain indicate that infection is localised to respiratory tract and that viraemia is highly unlikely to be of any significance as one of the feature of the disease. Infection also causes a relatively mild disease in pigs. In a separate study turkeys directly challenged with the virus did not apparently become infected. Argentina is not an approved country for export of pigs or pig products to the EU.
The Pig Veterinary Society has published advice to pig keepers on protecting their herds from the risk of introducing new variant Influenza A/H1N1 (Pig Veterinary Society, 2009).
3. Conclusions
On the basis of available information, we currently consider that there would be a negligible risk of introducing this Influenza A/H1N1 from Argentina to the UK by the legal import of pigs or pig products because such imports are not allowed. As this latest report may indicate, another possible route for disease introduction into pig herds in the UK would be people that may be infected and have direct or indirect contact with a pig farm. Therefore, it is important to continue to monitor for, and report and submit samples from suspected influenza signs in pigs (according to appropriate case algorithms) to relevant authorities, and maintain appropriate biosecurity measures at pig farms at all times. We will continue to review the situation.
4. Authors
Dr Mirzet Sabirovic Dr Helen Roberts
5. References
- EU Study (2009) http://ec.europa.eu/food/committees/regulatory/scfcah/
animal_health/background_doc_point1_en.pdf Accessed 26 Jun 2009.
- OIE (2009) Immediate Notification report Reference ARG-26-06-09. https://www.oie.int/wahis/reports/en_imm_0000008227_20090625_113641.pdf Accessed 26 Jun 2009.
- OIE (2009a) Novel influenza A/H1N1 pandemic: the OIE maintains its recommendations to animal health authorities worldwide.
http://www.oie.int/eng/press/en_090611.htm. Accessed 26 Jun 2009
- Pig Veterinary Society (2009) Novel Influenza A H1N1 Virus ­ protecting pigs, protecting people. http://www.pigvetsoc.org.uk/news/index.php?id=82>. Accessed 26 Jun 2009.
- WHO (2009) Laboratory-confirmed cases of new influenza A(H1N1) as officially reported to WHO by States Parties to the International Health Regulations (2005) http://www.who.int/csr/don/2009_06_26/en/index.html. Accessed 26 Jun 2009.
communicated by Myrtle O'Keefe (FFG) myrtle.o'<mailto:keefe@defra.gsi.gov.uk>keefe@defra.gsi.gov.uk
As this is the first recorded transmission of the 2009 (swine origin) A (H1N1) influenza virus from humans to pigs, these observations need to be substantiated by a molecular comparison of viruses recovered from the two hosts. As recorded in the ProMED-mail references listed below the origin of the A (H1N1)virus infecting pigs in a Canadian farm is unknown. Initially it was infered that the virus had been transmitted via a farm worker recently returned from Mexico. Subsequently it was established that the farm worker was not infected and the origin of the Canadian outbreak remains unresolved. - Mod.CP
Though the facts in the above analysis by DEFRA's GAH experts have already been available to ProMED-mail's subscribers, it seemed to us worthwhile posting the review as an all-round, documented update. - Mod.AS
Patricia A. Doyle DVM, PhD Bus Admin, Tropical Agricultural Economics Univ of West Indies Please visit my "Emerging Diseases" message board at: http://www.emergingdisease.org/phpbb/index.php Also my new website:
http://drpdoyle.tripod.com/ Zhan le Devlesa tai sastimasa Go with God and in Good Health
Donate to Rense.com
Support Free And Honest
Journalism At Rense.com
Subscribe To RenseRadio!
Enormous Online Archives,
MP3s, Streaming Audio Files, 
Highest Quality Live Programs


This Site Served by TheHostPros