This report describes a pandemic A/H1N1 (H1N1 pdm) virus outbreak occurred in December, 2009 in a swine
farm used as research facility (IstitutoMediterraneoTrapianti e Terapie ad Alta Specializzazione)
for preclinical studies, located in Sicily, Italy. All the 13 pigs of the
farm, showed cough, fever, inappetence and
weakness. At the same time, an unvaccinated worker of the stabling showed
influenza-like symptoms. RNAv extracted from two
swabs collected from infected pigs resulted positive by Real Time RT-PCR for
Influenza A virus. Furthermore, after growth on embryonated
eggs, viral isolates were identified by Real Time RT-PCR specific for H1N1 pdm virus and characterized antigenically.
Sequencing of the whole genome was also performed. All sera taken from
animals and from the worker were tested by a competitive Influenza A ELISA
and by the haemoagglutination inhibition test.
Serological findings confirmed the circulation of influenza virus H1N1 pdm in pigs and the presence of specific antibodies
against H1N1 pdm in human serum. The results of
this study seem to support a H1N1 pdm transmission
from man to animals showing the importance of serological and virological investigation to control the pig farms and
the importance of close cooperation between the different authorities like
veterinarian and human public.
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