Earlier this year, scientists discovered a new strain of swine flu, which they said had “all the basic characteristics of a candidate pandemic virus.”
In addition to finding that the virus called G4 is highly contagious, they also found that 10.4% of workers who deal with pigs have antibodies to the disease, which suggests that it may be transmitted to humans. However, there is no evidence that the virus can spread from person to person.
In a paper published on PNAS, they wrote that pigs are an important “mixed container” of influenza viruses and have the potential to infect humans. Therefore, monitoring the emergence of viruses in pigs can provide important early warning for strains that may continue to spread . .
Enter another potential zoonotic pathogen with a shocking name. In a new study at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, researchers carefully studied another virus in pigs that may be transmitted to humans. This highly pathogenic virus is called Porcine Acute Diarrhea Syndrome Coronavirus (SADS-CoV). It first appeared in bats and then infected pig herds across China in 201
The team published their findings in PNAS and injected a synthetic version of SADS-CoV into different cell types in the laboratory to determine whether it can replicate in human cells, including human liver, lung, and intestinal cells.
The team wrote in the paper: “It is worth noting that rSADS-CoV can also replicate efficiently in several different human primary lung cells and human primary intestinal cells.” “Human primary lung and intestinal cells The effective growth of SADS-CoV implies that SADS-CoV is a potential high-risk emerging coronavirus pathogen, which may have a negative impact on the global economy and human health.”
The virus replicates in the intestinal cells at a higher growth rate; this is different from SARS-CoV-2, which is the virus that causes Covid-19, which mainly infects lung cells. However, despite the need for monitoring, the virus has not been found to infect humans outside of the laboratory environment. The research team also tested the broad-spectrum antiviral drug remdesivir (remdesivir), which also shows potential to treat Covid-19. Preliminary results showed that the drug “effectively blocked the in vitro replication of rSADS-CoV.”
Caitlin Edwards, a research expert and master of public health at UNESCO’s Chapel Hill, said in a statement: “In the event of a human spill, the use of redesivir to provide promising data may provide a potential Treatment options.” “We recommend continuous monitoring of pig farm workers and pig herds for signs of SADS-CoV infection to prevent outbreaks and huge economic losses.”
The team is currently studying a potential vaccine for the virus to protect the pig herd.
Edwards said: “While monitoring and early separating infected piglets from sows, it provides an opportunity to reduce the possibility of greater epidemics and spillover to humans. The vaccine may limit future global transmission and human occurrences. The essential.”