Indonesia: bird flu virus infects pigs in Bali

The Team of Veterinary Faculty at Udayana University found evidence that avian influenze (AI) virus has infected pigs in Bali. Wider scale research is now in the process.

AI finding on pigs was due to some college students´ research which diagnosed several ill pigs from May to June, 2006. Out of 20 pigs, two were positively infected by H5N1 virus. The pigs are in Gianyar and Tabanan,said I Gusti Ngurah Mahardika, a professor at the faculty, Friday (6/10).

The virus grows in ill pigs and the pigs cannot be cured by a series of medical treatment. After surgery, there are red blotches on the spleen. By imono histokimia technology, the red blotches are viruses on the pig´s tissue.

However, H5N1 virus was not found in the animal´s tissue. Probably the virus only passed by, or is called an opportunistic virus, said Mahardika.

The finding has not yet been publicized as scientific study, but it has been conveyed to the Bali Breeding Service as a warning.

Virus contagion, according to Mahardika, is likely because with the pattern of chicken and duck breeding, the animals are free to enter pig stalls. In Bali, 900,000 pigs live side by side with other cattle.