Scientists Examine Dynamics of Influenza Infection in Swine Populations

Farmscape for November 25, 2014

An epidemiologist with the University of Guelph is confident, by gaining a better understanding of influenza, scientists will be better equipped to deal with more complex viral infections.
Scientists working on behalf of Swine Innovation Porc have kicked off a three year project which is looking at the dynamics of influenza infection in swine populations.
The objective is to gain a better understanding of the epidemiology of influenza viruses in swine and improve surveillance and control strategies.
Dr. Zvonimir Poljak, an epidemiologist working in the field of swine medicine in the Department of Population Medicine with the University of Guelph, explains influenza is on the rise and we have a large pool of influenza genes circulating in different swine populations.

Clip-Dr. Zvonimir Poljak-University of Guelph:
It's changing.
Our demographics of swine population changed and the behavior of influenza or clinical presentation of influenza changed as well.
So we are trying to adapt some of the old approaches, the oldest practices in epidemiology and infection disease control and we are trying to merge that with something that is more advanced such as studying the genomics of influenza viruses and also including mathematical modeling and we are trying to do that on a disease that seems to be a bit more simpler.
So lets start with influenza and try to understand influenza really well and if you develop all these tools and approaches on how to combine fields such as virology, epidemiology and mathematical modeling then maybe we can also move into the other area of more complex diseases such as Porcine Reproduction and Respiratory Syndrome virus.

Dr. Poljak says, from a clinical perspective and an infection control perspective we certainly need to learn more about these diseases.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

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