First isolation and identification of H1N1 swine influenza viruses in Colombian pig farms


The pig industry in Colombia has grown 30% in the last decade achieving high levels of technology and efficiency; in spite of that, respiratory diseases remain a constraint. Since 1970, serological evidence and histological findings suggested the role of swine influenza virus (SIV) as part of the porcine respiratory disease complex; nevertheless, elusive and molecular typing isolates are missing. This study was aimed at isolating SIV from intensive pig farms and to achieve molecular characterization to determine strains circulating in the field. In order to accomplish this goal, 242 samples were taken from nasal swabs, 25 from bronchial washes and 8 from lung tissue. Samples were collected during a period of three years, between 2008 and 2010 and were originated from 78 farms of the three main pig production regions of the country. The samples were transported in BHI broth with 2% antibiotic and antimycotic solution and stored at –70?C until processed. The swabs were inoculated in 9 - 11 days old embryo chicken eggs and in MDCK (Madin Darby Canine Kidney) cell cultures with the addition of trypsin. The isolates were identified by the HA (hemoagglutination) test and by RT-PCR targeting the HA (hemagglutinin), NA (Neuraminidase) and M (Matrix) genes. Full length sequence of the HA and NA glycoproteins from four selected virus isolates was conducted (Macrogen?. USA). As a result, fifteen SIV isolates from nine farms distributed in the three regions were obtained. Twelve of the isolates are related to the swine origin H1N1 virus that caused the 2009 influenza pandemic. The remaining three viruses were related to classical swine influenza viruses.

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Ramirez-Nieto, G. , Rojas, C. , Alfonso, V. , Correa, J. and Galvis, J. (2012) First isolation and identification of H1N1 swine influenza viruses in Colombian pig farms. Health, 4, 983-990. doi: 10.4236/health.2012.430150.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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