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