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Influenza Vaccination of Swine Reduces Public Health Risk at the Swine-Human Interface

Influenza A viruses (IAV) in swine (IAV-S) pose serious risk to public health through spillover at the human-animal interface. Continued zoonotic transmission increases the likelihood novel IAV-S capable of causing the next influenza pandemic will emerge from this animal reservoir. Because current mitigation strategies are insufficient to prevent IAV zoonosis, we investigated the ability of swine vaccination to decrease IAV-S zoonotic transmission risk. We assessed postchallenge viral shedding in market-age swine vaccinated with either live-attenuated influenza virus (LAIV), killed influenza virus (KV), or sham vaccine (NV). We also assessed postchallenge transmission by exposing naive ferrets to pigs with contact types reflective of those experienced by humans in a field setting. LAIV and KV swine groups exhibited a nearly 100-fold reduction in peak nasal titer (LAIV mean, 4.55 log 50% tissue culture infectious dose [TCID50]/ml; KV mean, 4.53 log TCID50/ml) compared to NV swine (mean, 6.40 log TCID50/ml). Air sampling during the postchallenge period revealed decreased cumulative IAV in LAIV and KV study room air (LAIV, area under the concentration-time curve [AUC] of 57.55; KV, AUC = 24.29) compared to the NV study room (AUC = 86.92). Pairwise survival analysis revealed a significant delay in onset of infection among ferrets exposed to LAIV pigs versus NV pigs (rate ratio, 0.66; P = 0.028). Ferrets exposed to vaccinated pigs had lower cumulative virus titers in nasal wash samples (LAIV versus NV, P < 0.0001; KV versus NV, P= 0.3490) and experienced reduced clinical signs during infection. Our findings support the implementation of preexhibition influenza vaccination of swine to reduce the public health risk posed by IAV-S at agricultural exhibitions.

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