Influenza herd-level prevalence and seasonality in breed-to-wean pig farms in the Midwestern United States

Fabian Orlando Chamba Pardo, Ana Alba-Casals, Joel Nerem, Robert B. Morrison, Pedro Puig, Montse Torremorell

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24 Scopus citations


Influenza is a costly disease for pig producers and understanding its epidemiology is critical to control it. In this study, we aimed to estimate the herd-level prevalence and seasonality of influenza in breed-to-wean pig farms, evaluate the correlation between influenza herd-level prevalence and meteorological conditions, and characterize influenza genetic diversity over time. A cohort of 34 breed-to-wean farms with monthly influenza status obtained over a 5-year period in piglets prior to wean was selected. A farm was considered positive in a given month if at least one oral fluid tested influenza positive by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. Influenza seasonality was assessed combining autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) models with trigonometric functions as covariates. Meteorological conditions were gathered from local land-based weather stations, monthly aggregated and correlated with influenza herd-level prevalence. Influenza herd-level prevalence had a median of 28% with a range from 7 to 57% and followed a cyclical pattern with levels increasing during fall, peaking in both early winter (December) and late spring (May), and decreasing in summer. Influenza herd-level prevalence was correlated with mean outdoor air absolute humidity (AH) and temperature. Influenza genetic diversity was substantial over time with influenza isolates belonging to 10 distinct clades from which H1 delta 1 and H1 gamma 1 were the most common. Twenty-one percent of farms had three different clades co-circulating over time, 18% of farms had two clades, and 41% of farms had one clade. In summary, our study showed that influenza had a cyclical pattern explained in part by air AH and temperature changes over time, and highlighted the importance of active surveillance to identify high-risk periods when strategic control measures for influenza could be implemented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number167
JournalFrontiers in Veterinary Science
Issue numberOCT
StatePublished - Oct 11 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Chamba Pardo, Alba-Casals, Nerem, Morrison, Puig and Torremorell.


  • Absolute humidity
  • Breed-to-wean pig farm
  • Genetic diversity
  • Influenza
  • Prevalence
  • Seasonality
  • Swine
  • Swine influenza virus


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