Introduction: Virus infections of the upper respiratory tract in combination with secondary bacterial infections can lead to severe lung infections. The aim of the current project KoInfekt is to elucidate the host-pathogen interactions establishing the pig as an animal infection model due to high genetic and physiological similarities to human beings.
Material and Methods: Animal experiments were done on the Federal Research Institute for Animal Health (Isle of Riems, Germany). A group of 25 pigs were infected with Influenza A virus (H1N1, Germany) and samples were collected over 31 days. For metabolic analysis tissues samples (lung, spleen), biofluids (blood plasma, BALF) and feces were collected and analyzed by a combination of 1H-NMR, GC-MS and LC-MS/MS.
Results: The increased amounts of pro-inflammatory eicosanoids like prostaglandins and thromboxane in the spleen were detected during infection. Furthermore, a specific eicosanoid profile was observed in the different sample types. The analysis of metabolites from the feces reveals a high time-and animal-dependent level for the majority of compounds.
Discussion: Perturbations in the eicosanoid profile of Influenza A virus infected pigs were detected. The occurrence of different pro-and anti-inflammatory lipid mediators gives a hint for the immune status of the analyzed organs from the pig. The analysis of the fecal metabolites enables an overview about the gut microbiota, which is linked to the host immune response and the interplay of the host and the bacteria community. This is the first step for the metabolic analysis of bacto-viral co-infections, which play an important role in human and animal health.