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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)

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To evaluate the influences of animal age, bacterial coinfection, and porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) isolate pathogenicity on virus concentration in pigs.

Animals—Twenty-one 2-month-old pigs and eighteen 6-month-old pigs.

Procedure—Pigs were grouped according to age and infected with mildly virulent or virulent isolates of PRRSV. The role of concurrent bacterial infection was assessed by infecting selected pigs with Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae 21 days prior to inoculation with PRRSV. On alternating days, blood and swab specimens of nasal secretions and oropharyngeal secretions were collected. On day 21 after inoculation with PRRSV, selected tissues were harvested. Concentrations of PRRSV were determined by use of quantitative real-time PCR and expressed in units of TCID50 per milliliter (sera and swab specimens) or TCID50 per gram (tissue specimens).

Results—Concentrations of virus were higher in blood and tonsils of pigs infected with virulent PRRSV. Pigs infected with virulent PRRSV and M hyopneumoniae had significantly higher concentrations of viral RNA in lymphoid and tonsillar tissue. Coinfection with M hyopneumoniae resulted in a higher viral load in oropharyngeal swab specimens and blood samples, independent of virulence of the PRRSV isolate. Two-month-old pigs had significantly higher viral loads in lymph nodes, lungs, and tracheal swab specimens than did 6-month-old pigs, independent of virulence of the PRRSV isolate.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Multiple factors affect PRRSV concentration in pigs, including pathogenicity of the PRRSV isolate, age, and concurrent infection with M hyopneumoniae.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research