Table of Contents
Influenza Research and Treatment
Volume 2011, Article ID 846910, 10 pages
Research Article

A Time Course for Susceptibility to Staphylococcus aureus Respiratory Infection during Influenza in a Swine Model

1Department of Dairy Science, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA
2Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology, Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA

Received 28 September 2011; Revised 16 December 2011; Accepted 16 December 2011

Academic Editor: Alicia Solorzano

Copyright © 2011 Elizabeth A. Smith et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Bacterial superinfections following influenza A virus (IAV) are predominant causes of morbidity in humans. The recent emergence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and highly virulent IAV strains has reduced treatment options. Development of an appropriate animal model to study secondary S. aureus infections may provide important information regarding disease pathogenesis. Pigs are natural hosts to both IAV and S. aureus and have respiratory physiology and immune response comparable to humans. To establish a time course of susceptibility to S. aureus after IAV infection, nursery pigs infected intranasally with IAV were challenged with MRSA at different time points. Lung pathology scores and MRSA CFU were evaluated in dual-infected animals after IAV infection. Flow cytometric analysis of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid indicated differences between treatments. These results demonstrate the appropriateness of an intranasal challenge model in nursery pigs for studying the pathogenesis of IAV and S. aureus coinfection and provide insights into the timeframe for susceptibility of IAV-infected pigs to secondary S. aureus infection.