Emerging infectious diseases

Subclinical influenza virus A infections in pigs exhibited at agricultural fairs, Ohio, USA, 2009-2011.

PMID 23171654


Agricultural fairs are associated with bidirectional, interspecies transmission of influenza virus A between humans and pigs. We examined pigs exhibited at agricultural fairs in Ohio during 2009-2011 for signs of influenza-like illness and collected nasal swab specimens from a representative subset of these animals. Influenza virus A was recovered from pigs at 12/53 (22.6%) fairs during the 3-year sampling period. Pigs at 10/12 (83.3%) fairs from which influenza virus A was recovered did not show signs of influenza-like illness. Hemagglutinin, neuraminidase, and matrix gene combinations of the isolates were consistent with influenza virus A concurrently circulating among swine herds in the United States. Subclinical influenza virus A infections in pigs at agricultural fairs may pose a risk to human health and create challenges for passive surveillance programs for influenza virus A in swine herds.