Guinea Pig Model for Evaluating the Potential Public Health Risk of Swine and Avian Influenza Viruses
We investigated the guinea pig as a mammalian model for the study of the replication and transmission characteristics of selected swine H1N1, H1N2, H3N2 and avian H9N2 influenza viruses, compared to those of pandemic 2009 and seasonal human H1N1, H3N2 influenza viruses. None of the swine and avian influenza viruses showed transmissibility among guinea pigs; in contrast, pandemic 2009 virus transmitted from infected guinea pigs to all animals and seasonal human influenza viruses could also horizontally transmit in guinea pigs. We propose that the guinea pig could serve as a useful mammalian model to evaluate the potential public health threat of swine and avian influenza viruses. Animal influenza viruses have repeatedly transmitted to humans with increasing genetic diversity, such as avian H5N1 and H9N2 influenza viruses, and swine H1N1, H1N2, H3N2 influenza viruses , , which served as an important reminder that another influenza pandemic is highly likely. Among these swine and avian influenza viruses, in addition to highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza viruses, many low pathogenic viruses are also high on the list of candidates that could potentially cause the next human pandemic.
Thus far, influenza studies using the guinea pig model have been performed with 1918 pandemic , 2009 pandemic H1N1 , seasonal human H1N1 and H3N2 , , and avian H5N1 influenza viruses , , , but little is known about other swine and avian influenza virus infections, particularly those isolated in recent years. To evaluate the applicability of the guinea pig model for swine and avian influenza viruses, we describe the infectivity and transmissibility in guinea pigs of the subtypes of viruses that repeatedly transmit to humans compared with 2009 pandemic and human seasonal influenza viruses. In the present study, we investigated the guinea pig as a mammalian model for the study of the replication and transmission characteristics of selected swine H1N1, H1N2, H3N2 and avian H9N2 influenza viruses. Our results showed that all the tested swine and avian influenza viruses replicated effectively in guinea pig nasal tracts without prior adaptation and the replication of these viruses was restricted to the respiratory system. The replication characteristics of swine and avian influenza viruses were similar to those of pandemic 2009 and seasonal human H1N1, H3N2 influenza viruses in addition to those of other influenza viruses reported by previous studies , ,.
These studies show the utility of the guinea pig model for not only the evaluation of the transmissibility of pandemic influenza strains, human seasonal viruses and H5N1 influenza viruses, but could also be used for low pathogenic swine and avian influenza viruses to help recognize the strains that possess potential human-to-human transmission ability. In summary, we found the high susceptibility of guinea pigs to swine and avian influenza viruses, the correlation of transmissibility of these animal influenza viruses in guinea pigs with those in humans and the similar receptor distribution in the respiratory system of guinea pigs to those of humans.
Long-haired guinea pigs can be especially hard to look after. BehaviourIn the wild, guinea pigs live in large social groups. Two adult guinea pigs that don’t know each other may fight. We do not recommend that guinea pigs and rabbits be housed together. BreedingThe RSPCA strongly advises that you do not breed from your guinea pigs as it is very difficult to find good homes for the young.
HealthGuinea pigs should be checked regularly for overgrown claws and teeth. Long haired guinea pigs in particular may suffer from the potentially fatal disease flystrike, cause by flies laying eggs in soiled fur. To avoid this, make sure the guinea pig’s home is cleaned every day and their bedding changed regularly. Groom guinea pigs every day, checking their fur all over for any dirt, especially under the tail. If a guinea pig develops bald patches this could be the fungal disease ringworm.
FoodGuinea pigs can suffer from vitamin C deficiency, which causes weight loss, general weakness and swollen joints. Like people, guinea pigs cannot make Vitamin C and need to eat fresh greens every day.
Health food for guinea pigs
This means that, next to the appropriate care and accommodation, you pay attention to a good diet. Guinea pigs may develop obesity or bladder, gastrointestinal, kidney and/or dental problems. Nutrition plays a major role in the prevention thereof. Fibres are very important for the proper functioning of the gastrointestinal tract of the guinea pig. In order to provide guinea pigs with sufficient dietary fibre, it is essential to provide unlimited daily access to fresh hay.
In addition to fibres from hay, guinea pigs also require various other nutrients. TROVET kibbles contain important nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals with the optimal proportion of nutrients your guinea pig requires. TROVET Guinea Pig is quality food that helps to keep your pet healthy and vital.
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