Antigenic variant of swine influenza virus causing proliferative and necrotizing pneumonia in pigs

J Vet Diagn Invest. 1992 Oct;4(4):380-92. doi: 10.1177/104063879200400403.


A new antigenic variant of swine influenza virus was isolated from the lungs of pigs experiencing respiratory problems in 7 different swine herds in Quebec. Pigs of different ages were affected, and the main clinical signs were fever, dyspnea, and abdominal respiration. Coughing was not a constant finding of the syndrome. At necropsy, macroscopic lesions included the overall appearance of pale animals, general lymphadenopathy, hepatic congestion, and consolidation of the lungs. Histopathologic findings were mainly proliferative pneumonia with a significant macrophage invasion, necrotic inflammatory cells in the alveoli and the airways, a marked proliferation of type II pneumocytes, and thickening of the alveolar septae. Fluorescent antibody examination of lungs of sick piglets did not demonstrate porcine parvovirus, transmissible gastroenteritis virus, or encephalomyocarditis virus. However, evidence of the presence of an influenza type A infection was demonstrated by indirect immunofluorescence (IIF) staining using monoclonal antibody directed to nucleocapsid protein (NP) of human type A influenza virus. The virus was isolated either by intra-allantoic inoculation of specific-pathogen-free embryonating hens' eggs or propagation in canine kidney (MDCK) cells in the presence of trypsin. By hemagglutination inhibition tests, no cross-reactivity was demonstrated with human influenza H1N1, H2N2, and H3N2 strains, and infected MDCK cells did not react by IIF with monoclonal antibodies to NP protein of type B influenza virus. The hemagglutination activity of plaque-purified isolates was only partly inhibited by hyperimmune serum produced to subtypes A/Wisconsin/76/H1N1 and A/New Jersey/76/H1N1 of swine influenza virus. Gnotobiotic piglets that were infected intranasally with egg-adapted isolates of this new antigenic variant of swine influenza virus developed the very same type of lesions observed in field cases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigenic Variation / immunology
  • Antigens, Viral / immunology
  • Female
  • Germ-Free Life
  • Influenza A virus / immunology*
  • Influenza A virus / isolation & purification
  • Orthomyxoviridae Infections / immunology
  • Orthomyxoviridae Infections / pathology
  • Orthomyxoviridae Infections / veterinary*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / immunology
  • Pneumonia, Viral / pathology
  • Pneumonia, Viral / veterinary*
  • Pregnancy
  • Quebec
  • Swine
  • Swine Diseases / immunology
  • Swine Diseases / microbiology*
  • Swine Diseases / pathology


  • Antigens, Viral