Influenza in swine

Samples for the Diagnosis of Swine Influenza

Pig selection: High fever, serous nasal discharge

Nasal swabs: Dacron or other synthetic fiber swabs in transport media (e.g. BBL CultureSwab with Stuarts media) or in 1 ml saline in snap cap tubes; cluster in whirlpaks

Lung lavage fluid: Saline in leak-proof sterile containers (snap caps, blood tubes, whirlpaks)

Airway brush swabs: Swab larger bronchioles after cutting into lung lobes. (e.g. Copan flocked nylon fiber swab with accompanying screwtop vial containing sterile media); cluster in whirlpaks

Fresh lung tissue: Affected portions of lung tissue, usually the hilar area and adjacent portions of cranial, middle and caudal lung lobes or ventral portions of these lobes; in whirlpaks, chilled not frozen, on icepacks or wet ice 

Formalin-fixed lung tissue: Slices (1/2”) through affected portions of lung in 10% buffered formalin. Follow routine diagnostic sample packaging guidelines: Double bag specimens or line shipping container with plastic bag, preferably in styrofoam-lined container with coolant packs. The samples described above would also be useful for diagnosis of any acute respiratory disease in swine.

Diagnostic Notes:  Assays that can be routinely applied to these samples for SIV diagnosis:

  • PCR assay for Type A and subtypes H1, H3, N1, N2
  • Sequence determination for the HA genes
  • Virus isolation

Swabs can be pooled in groups of 3-5 for PCR assay PCR assays currently employed at ISU VDL will detect both the H1 and N1 of pandemic H1N1 influenza virus currently of concern in human infections. ISU VDL has developed a new PCR that can differentiate the virus from other H1N1 viruses currently infecting swine. ISU VDL is one of NAHLN laboratories participating in USDA’s 2009 outbreak H1N1 influenza virus surveillance in swine.

Shipping address:
Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory
College of Veterinary Medicine
Iowa State University
1800 Christensen Drive
Ames, IA  50011-1250

Sample selection and shipping guidelines: here.

Submission form: download an ISU VDL submission form here.

Contact information:

ISU VDL phone:  515-294-1950
Dr. Butch Baker
Dr. Kyoungjin Yoon