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Detection of influenza A virus (IAV), viral antigen, nucleic acid, or antibodies in swine is dependent upon the collection of the appropriate specimen type, the quality of the specimen, and the proper storage and handling of the specimen. The diagnostic tests to be performed should be considered prior to specimen collection. Sera are acceptable specimens for ELISA or hemagglutination inhibition tests but not for real-time RT-PCR. Likewise, swabs, wipes, and/or tissues are acceptable for real-time RT-PCR and virus isolation. The specimen type will also depend on the age of the swine being tested; oral fluids can be successfully collected from weaned pigs usually greater than 3 weeks of age, whereas nasal or oral swabs should be collected from suckling pigs in the first weeks of life. The sensitivity of the RT-PCR test is such that IAV can be detected in not only the pig itself but also on surfaces that the pig contacts and in the air. This chapter will outline the collection of different specimen types and procedures for proper specimen handling.


Marie Culhane, Jorge Garrido-Mantilla, Montserrat Torremorell. Specimen Types, Collection, and Transport for Influenza A Viruses of Swine. Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.). 2020;2123:273-280

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PMID: 32170694

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