Analysis of the acute-phase protein response in pigs to clinical and subclinical infection with H3N2 swine influenza virus




Swine influenza (SI) is a contagious, important respiratory disease. Diagnosis of SI is based on the clinical signs, confirmed by the detection of viral RNA or specific antibodies. However, the infection is much more frequent than the disease.


The aim of study was to investigate the kinetics of acute-phase protein (APP) response during subclinical and clinical influenza in pigs. The utility of APP measurements in identification of infected animals was also evaluated.


Twenty-eight piglets were used. C-reactive protein (CRP), haptoglobin (Hp), serum amyloid A (SAA) and pig major acute-phase protein (Pig-MAP) concentrations in serum were measured using commercial ELISAs.

Results and Conclusions

No relevant clinical signs were observed in intranasally infected pigs. In contrast, coughing, nasal discharge, and fever were observed in pigs infected intratracheally. All infected pigs exhibited specific antibodies in the serum at 10 dpi, and viral shedding was confirmed. The concentrations of CRP, Hp and SAA were significantly increased after infection. The level of Pig-MAP remained constant during subclinical and clinical infection. The concentrations of CRP, Hp and SAA were higher in pigs with clinical disease. Although not specific, strategic APP measurements may reveal ongoing clinical and subclinical infection. A close relationship between the magnitude of serum APP response with the severity of disease, providing an objective tool for validation the severity of infection. The maximum concentration of SAA in serum was closely correlated with lung score and makes this APP potential indicator for disease progress or estimation of treatment strategy.