Transcription Analysis on Response of Swine Lung to H1N1 Swine Influenza Virus

by 5m Editor
31 August 2011, at 12:00am

Researchers in Wuhan, China, have shown how the pig's lung immune system changes its response to infection by the swine flu virus over time, information that may help to control the disease better in future.

As a mild, highly contagious, respiratory disease, swine influenza always damages the innate immune systems, and increases susceptibility to secondary infections which results in considerable morbidity and mortality in pigs, explain Yongtao Li and colleagues at Huazhong Agricultural University in Wuhan in Hubei province in China. Their study, transcription analysis on the response of pig lung to H1N1 swine influenza virus, is to be published in BMC Genomics. The researchers continue that, nevertheless, the systematical host response of pigs to swine influenza virus infection remains largely unknown. To explore it, a time-course gene expression profiling was performed for comprehensive analysis of the global host response induced by H1N1 swine influenza virus in pigs.

At the early stage of H1N1 swine virus infection, pigs were suffering mild respiratory symptoms and pathological changes. A total of 268 porcine genes showing differential expression (DE) after inoculation were identified to compare with the controls on day 3 post infection (PID) (fold change >2; <0.05).

The DE genes were involved in many vital functional classes, mainly including signal transduction, immune response, inflammatory response, cell adhesion and cell-cell signalling.

Noticeably, the genes associated with immune and inflammatory response were highly over-expressed.

Through the pathway analysis, the significant pathways mainly concerned with cell adhesion molecules, cytokine-cytokine receptor interaction, toll-like receptor signalling pathway and MAPK signalling pathway, suggesting that the host took different strategies to activate these pathways so as to prevent virus infections at the early stage.

However, on PID 7, the predominant function classes of DE genes included signal transduction, metabolism, transcription, development and transport. Furthermore, the most significant pathways switched to PPAR signalling pathway and complement and coagulation cascades, showing that the host might start to repair excessive tissue damage by anti-inflammatory functions.

These results on PID 7 demonstrated beneficial turnover for the host to prevent excessive inflammatory damage and recover the normal state by activating these clusters of genes.

The Huazhong researchers concluded that their study shows how the target organ responds to H1N1 swine influenza virus infection in pigs. The observed gene expression profile could help to screen the potential host agents for reducing the prevalence of swine influenza virus and further understand the molecular pathogenesis associated with H1N1 infection in pigs.


Li Y., H. Zhou, Z. Wen, S. Wu, C. Huang, G. Jia, H. Chen and M. Jin. 2011. Transcription analysis on response of swine lung to H1N1 swine influenza virus. BMC Genomics, 12:398 doi:10.1186/1471-2164-12-398

Further Reading

- You can view the full report (as a provisional PDF) by clicking here.

Further Reading

- Find out more information on influenza in pigs by clicking here.

August 2011