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Objective—To characterize the genetic diversity of Haemophilus parasuis field isolates with regard to serovar, herd of origin, and site of isolation.

Sample population—Isolates of H parasuis obtained from pigs in 15 North American herds and multi-farm systems.

Procedure—98 H parasuis isolates were genotyped with the enterobacterial repetitive intergeneic consensus based-polymerase chain reaction (ERIC-PCR) technique and serotyped via agar gel precipitation test. Genomic fingerprints were analyzed and dendrograms were constructed to identify strains from the same serovar group, herd of origin, or isolation site and to evaluate the genetic variability within these categories.

Results—Serovar 4 (39%) and nontypeable (NT) isolates (27%) were most prevalent. Thirty-four distinct strains were identified among the 98 isolates, using a 90% similarity cutoff. Strains from serovar 4 and NT isolates had high genetic diversity (12 and 18 strains, respectively). One to 3 major clusters of prevalent strains could be identified in most of the evaluated herds. Haemophilus parasuis strains isolated from the upper respiratory tract were either serovar 3 or NT isolates. Potentially virulent strains (isolated from systemic sites) were either serovars 1, 2, 4, 5, 12, 13, or 14, or NT isolates.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Although H parasuis had high genetic diversity overall, only a few strains caused disease in these herds. The ERIC-PCR technique was more discriminative than serotyping, and a broad genetic variety was observed within particular serovar groups. (Am J Vet Res 2003; 64:435–442)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Pneumonia in swine has been studied mainly at slaughter or necropsy. However, when performing slaughter or postmortem examinations, assessment of the true prevalence or lifetime extent of pneumonia is at best speculative. Radiography was used to evaluate lungs from pigs 21 to 150 days old. Follow-up slaughter examination was performed on pigs 180 days old. Individual percentage of pneumonia observed over the life of each pig and at slaughter were added to yield lifetime pneumonia scores. A significant (P = 0.0001) negative effect of lifetime pneumonia on growth rate was found. By comparison, slaughter examination proved to be a poor indicator of lifetime pneumonia; lesions were found to progress and regress dynamically throughout the life of pigs.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association



To document airborne transmission of Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae and porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) infection in nursery pigs.


32 two-week-old pigs obtained from 3 farms, but with similar Landrace × Yorkshire genetics for trial 1 of each experiment; 16 pigs for trial 2 of the A pleuropneumoniae experiment; and 14 pigs for trial 2 of the PRRSV experiment.


In experiment 1, pigs were inoculated with A pleuropneumoniae serotype 1 (6/8) or were left as contacts (2/8). At the beginning of trial 1, pigs were seronegative to A pleuropneumoniae serotypes 1 and 5 on the basis of results of an ELISA, but had positive results on the A pleuropneumoniae hemolysin I (Apx1)-neutralization test. Pigs in trial 2 had negative results on both tests. Pigs of trial 1 of experiment 2 were inoculated with a PRRSV virulent field isolate (MN-1b); pigs of trial 2 were inoculated with the virus reference strain VR-2332. Aerosol-exposed pigs were placed on the other side of the air duct and kept there for 2 to 7 weeks depending on evidence of airborne transmission.


In trial 1 of experiment 1, evidence of airborne transmission was not found. In trial 2, most airborne-exposed pigs died as a result of A pleuropneumoniae infection 12 days after initiation of the experiment. In trial 1 of experiment 2, all inoculated pigs (8/8) seroconverted, but only 2 of 8 contact-exposed pigs seroconverted. Aerosol-exposed pigs did not seroconvert nor was virus isolated. In trial 2, all inoculated and contact-exposed pigs seroconverted. All aerosol-exposed pigs seroconverted after 21 days, and virus was isolated at 16 days.


A pleuropneumoniae was transmitted by air at a distance of 1 m when pigs were fully susceptible to the organism. Transmission of PRRSV appeared to be strain dependent; when reference strain VR-2332 was used, airborne transmission of PRRSV was documented. (Am J Vet Res 1997;58:828–832)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To determine effects of vaccination protocols with modified-live porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) vaccine on persistence and transmission of virus in pigs infected with a homologous isolate and determine clinical and virologic responses following heterologous viral challenge.

Animals—Four hundred forty 6- to 8-week-old PRRSV-naïve pigs.

Procedures—Pigs were allocated into 5 groups. Groups A to D were inoculated with wild-type PRRSV VR2332. Group A (positive control pigs) received PRRSV only. Groups B, C, and D received modified-live PRRSV vaccine (1, 2, or 3 doses). Group E served as a negative control group. To evaluate viral transmission, sentinel pigs were introduced into each group at intervals from 37 to 67, 67 to 97, and 97 to 127 days postinoculation (DPI). To evaluate persistence, pigs were euthanized at 37, 67, 97, or 127 DPI. To assess clinical and virologic response after challenge, selected pigs from each group were inoculated at 98 DPI with a heterologous isolate (PRRSV MN-184).

Results—Mass vaccination significantly reduced the number of persistently infected pigs at 127 DPI. Vaccination did not eliminate wild-type PRRSV; administration of 2 or 3 doses of modified-live virus vaccine reduced viral shedding after 97 DPI. Previous exposure to wild-type and vaccine virus reduced clinical signs and enhanced growth following heterologous challenge but did not prevent infection.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Findings suggest that therapeutic vaccination may help to reduce economic losses of PRRSV caused by infection; further studies to define the role of modified-live virus vaccines in control-eradication programs are needed.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To determine whether flies can acquire porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) and disperse the virus throughout a designated area.

Animals—60 four-month-old pigs.

Procedure—On day 0, 28 of 60 pigs were inoculated with PRRSV MN 30-100 (index variant). On the same day, 100,000 pupae of ochre-eyed houseflies and 100,000 pupae of red-eyed (wild-type) houseflies were placed in the swine facility for a release-recapture study. Flies were recaptured at 2 locations within the swine facility, 6 locations immediately outside the facility, and 30 locations 0.4, 0.8, 1.3, 1.7, 1.9, and 2.3 km from the facility. Traps were emptied on days 2, 7, 8, 10, and 14. Samples derived from flies were tested by use of a polymerase chain reaction assay, virus DNA was sequenced, and viruses were tested for infectivity by means of a swine bioassay.

Results—PRRSV RNA homologous to the index PRRSV was detected in trapped flies collected inside and immediately outside the facility and from 9 of 48 samples collected at 0.4 km, 8 of 24 samples collected at 0.8 km, 5 of 24 samples collected at 1.3 km, and 3 of 84 samples collected at > 1.7 km from the facility. Two samples collected at 0.8 km contained genetically diverse variants of PRRSV. Swine bioassays revealed the virus in flies was infectious.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Flies appeared to become contaminated with PRRSV from infected pigs and transported the virus ≥ 1.7 km. Flyborn transmission may explain how PRRSV is seasonally transported between farms. (Am J Vet Res 2004;65:1284–1292)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To evaluate retention of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) in houseflies for various time frames and temperatures.

Sample Population—Fifteen 2-week-old pigs, two 10-week-old pigs, and laboratory-cultivated houseflies.

Procedure—In an initial experiment, houseflies were exposed to PRRSV; housed at 15°, 20°, 25°, and 30°C; and tested at various time points. In a second experiment to determine dynamics of virus retention, houseflies were exposed to PRRSV and housed under controlled field conditions for 48 hours. Changes in the percentage of PRRSV-positive flies and virus load per fly were assessed over time, and detection of infective virus at 48 hours after exposure was measured. Finally, in a third experiment, virus loads were measured in houseflies allowed to feed on blood, oropharyngeal washings, and nasal washings obtained from experimentally infected pigs.

Results—In experiment 1, PRRSV retention in houseflies was proportional to temperature. In the second experiment, the percentage of PRRSV-positive houseflies and virus load per fly decreased over time; however, infective PRRSV was found in houseflies 48 hours after exposure. In experiment 3, PRRSV was detected in houseflies allowed to feed on all 3 porcine body fluids.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—For the conditions of this study, houseflies did not support PRRSV replication. Therefore, retention of PRRSV in houseflies appears to be a function of initial virus load after ingestion and environmental temperature. These factors may impact the risk of insect-borne spread of PRRSV among farms. (Am J Vet Res 2005;66:1517–1525)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research