Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Ferrets, pigs susceptible to H7N9 avian influenza virus

Date:
May 23, 2013
Source:
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Summary:
Chinese and US scientists have used a virus isolated from a person who died from H7N9 avian influenza infection to determine whether the virus could infect and be transmitted between ferrets. Ferrets are often used as a mammalian model in influenza research, and efficient transmission of influenza virus between ferrets can provide clues as to how well the same process might occur in people.

Chinese and U.S. scientists have used virus isolated from a person who died from H7N9 avian influenza infection to determine whether the virus could infect and be transmitted between ferrets. Ferrets are often used as a mammalian model in influenza research, and efficient transmission of influenza virus between ferrets can provide clues as to how well the same process might occur in people.

The researchers dropped H7N9 virus into the noses of six ferrets. A day later, three uninfected ferrets were placed inside cages with the infected animals, and another three uninfected ferrets were placed in cages nearby. All the uninfected ferrets inside the cages became infected, while only one of three placed in nearby cages became infected. The team concluded that the virus can infect ferrets and be transmitted between ferrets both by direct contact and, less efficiently, by air. The scientists detected viral material in the nasal secretions of the ferrets at least one day before clinical signs of disease became apparent. The potential public health implication of this observation is that a person infected by H7N9 avian influenza virus who does not show symptoms could nevertheless spread the virus to others.

The researchers also infected pigs with the human-derived H7N9 virus. In natural settings, pigs can act as a virtual mixing bowl to combine avian- and mammalian-specific influenza strains, potentially allowing avian strains to better adapt to humans. New strains arising from such mixing have the potential to infect humans and spark a pandemic, so information about swine susceptibility to H7N9 could help scientists gauge the pandemic potential of the avian virus. Unlike the ferrets, infected pigs in this small study did not transmit virus to uninfected pigs, either through direct contact or by air. All the infected ferrets and pigs showed mild signs of illness, such as sneezing, nasal discharge, and lethargy, but none of the infected animals became seriously ill.

The research was supported, in part, by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. H Zhu et al. Infectivity, transmission and pathogenesis of human-isolated H7N9 influenza virus in ferrets and pigs. Science, 2013 DOI: 10.1126/science.1239844

Cite This Page:

NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. "Ferrets, pigs susceptible to H7N9 avian influenza virus." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130523143739.htm>.
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. (2013, May 23). Ferrets, pigs susceptible to H7N9 avian influenza virus. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130523143739.htm
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. "Ferrets, pigs susceptible to H7N9 avian influenza virus." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130523143739.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A research institute in Paris somehow misplaced more than 2,000 vials of the deadly SARS virus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) Conjoined twins Emmett and Owen Ezell were separated by doctors in August. Now, nearly nine months later, they're being released from the hospital. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) The ebola virus outbreak in West Africa is now linked to 121 deaths. Health officials fear the virus will continue to spread in urban areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins