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Evaluation of the effects of porcine genogroup 1 torque teno virus in gnotobiotic swine

Steven Krakowka DVM, PhD1 and John A. Ellis DVM, PhD2
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  • 1 Department of Veterinary Biosciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, 43210
  • | 2 Department of Veterinary Microbiology, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5B4, Canada

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether porcine genogroup 1 torque teno virus (g1-TTV) can infect and cause disease in gnotobiotic swine.

Sample Population—20 conventional baby pigs and 46 gnotobiotic baby pigs.

Procedures—Porcine g1-TTV was transmitted from conventional swine to gnotobiotic pigs via pooled leukocyte-rich plasmas (n = 18) that had positive results for g1-TTV DNA. Bone marrow–liver homogenates that had positive results for torque teno virus (TTV) were used in 4 serial passages in gnotobiotic pigs (2 pigs/passage). A pathogenesis experiment was conducted with in vivo passages of g1-TTV in various groups of gnotobiotic pigs.

Results—All g1-TTV inoculated pigs had no clinical signs but developed interstitial pneumonia, transient thymic atrophy, membranous glomerulonephropathy, and modest lymphocytic to histiocytic infiltrates in the liver after inoculation with the TTV-containing tissue homogenate; these changes were not detected in uninoculated control pigs or pigs injected with tissue homogenate devoid of TTV DNAs. In situ hybridization was used to identify g1-TTV DNAs in bone marrow mononuclear cells.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Analysis of these data revealed that porcine g1-TTV was readily transmitted to TTV-naïve swine and that infection was associated with characteristic pathologic changes in gnotobiotic pigs inoculated with g1-TTV. Thus, g1-TTV could be an unrecognized pathogenic viral infectious agent of swine. This indicated a directly associated induction of lesions attributable to TTV infection in swine for a virus of the genus Anellovirus.

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether porcine genogroup 1 torque teno virus (g1-TTV) can infect and cause disease in gnotobiotic swine.

Sample Population—20 conventional baby pigs and 46 gnotobiotic baby pigs.

Procedures—Porcine g1-TTV was transmitted from conventional swine to gnotobiotic pigs via pooled leukocyte-rich plasmas (n = 18) that had positive results for g1-TTV DNA. Bone marrow–liver homogenates that had positive results for torque teno virus (TTV) were used in 4 serial passages in gnotobiotic pigs (2 pigs/passage). A pathogenesis experiment was conducted with in vivo passages of g1-TTV in various groups of gnotobiotic pigs.

Results—All g1-TTV inoculated pigs had no clinical signs but developed interstitial pneumonia, transient thymic atrophy, membranous glomerulonephropathy, and modest lymphocytic to histiocytic infiltrates in the liver after inoculation with the TTV-containing tissue homogenate; these changes were not detected in uninoculated control pigs or pigs injected with tissue homogenate devoid of TTV DNAs. In situ hybridization was used to identify g1-TTV DNAs in bone marrow mononuclear cells.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Analysis of these data revealed that porcine g1-TTV was readily transmitted to TTV-naïve swine and that infection was associated with characteristic pathologic changes in gnotobiotic pigs inoculated with g1-TTV. Thus, g1-TTV could be an unrecognized pathogenic viral infectious agent of swine. This indicated a directly associated induction of lesions attributable to TTV infection in swine for a virus of the genus Anellovirus.

Contributor Notes

Supported in part by a grant from the National Institutes of Health, Public Health Service (R01 A1053120).

The authors thank Judith Dubena, Amy Davis, and Sara Schmitz for assistance with the gnotobiotic pigs and Susan S. Ringler, Prakash Arumugam, Catherine Hartunian, Richard Hartman, and Dr. Alexander Hamberg for technical assistance.

Address correspondence to Dr. Ellis.