Pulmonary pathology of pandemic influenza A/H1N1 virus (2009)-infected ferrets upon longitudinal evaluation by computed tomography
We investigated the development of pulmonary lesions in ferrets by means of computed tomography (CT) following infection with the 2009 pandemic A/H1N1 influenza virus and compared the scans with gross pathology, histopathology and immunohistochemistry. Groundglass opacities observed by CT scanning in all infected lungs corresponded to areas of alveolar oedema at necropsy. These areas were most pronounced on day 3 and gradually decreased from days 4 to 7 post-infection. This pilot study shows that the non-invasive imaging procedure allows quantification and characterization of influenza-induced pulmonary lesions in living animals under biosafety level 3 conditions and can thus be used in pre-clinical pharmaceutical efficacy studies.