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Transcription analysis on response of swine lung to H1N1 swine influenza virus

Yongtao Li1, Hongbo Zhou12, Zhibin Wen1, Shujuan Wu1, Canhui Huang2, Guangmin Jia1, Huanchun Chen12 and Meilin Jin12*

  • * Corresponding author: Meilin Jin

  • † Equal contributors

Author Affiliations

1 Unit of Animal Infectious Diseases, State Key Laboratory of Agricultural Microbiology, Huazhong Agricultural University. 1 Shizishan Street, Wuhan, Hubei, 430070, P.R. China

2 College of Veterinary Medicine, Huazhong Agricultural University, P.R. China. Shizishan Street, Wuhan, Hubei, 430070, P.R. China

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BMC Genomics 2011, 12:398  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-12-398

Published: 8 August 2011



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. 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, p < 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 showed highly overexpressed. Through the pathway analysis, the significant pathways mainly concerned with Cell adhesion molecules, Cytokine-cytokine receptor interaction, Toll-like receptor signaling pathway and MAPK signaling 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 signaling 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 host to prevent excessive inflammatory damage and recover the normal state by activating these clusters of genes.


This 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.