Objective—To assess the role of noncommercial pigs in the epidemiology of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) virus.
Design—Seroepidemiologic study and survey study.
Animals—661 pigs from which blood samples were collected at slaughter and 32 pigs from which blood samples were collected longitudinally.
Procedures—Spatial databases of commercial farms and 4-H participation were evaluated by use of commercial geographic information systems software. Information on disease knowledge and management methods of 4-H participants was obtained by mail survey and personal interview. Serum samples for antibody testing by PRRS ELISA were obtained from pigs at slaughter or at county fairs and on farms.
Results—Participation in 4-H swine programs was geographically associated with commercial swine production in Minnesota, and 39% of 4-H participants reared pigs at locations with commercial pigs. High seroprevalence at fairs (49%; range, 29% to 76%) and seroconversion after fairs indicated that PRRS virus exposure was common in pigs shown by 4-H participants and that transmission could occur at fairs.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The small swine population shown by 4-H members (estimated 12,000 pigs) relative to the population of commercial swine in Minnesota (estimated 6.5 million pigs) suggested the former overall was likely of minor importance to PRRS virus epidemiology at present. However, the relative frailty of knowledge of biosecurity practices, evidence that PRRS virus exposure was frequent, common intentions to show pigs at multiple events, and often close interactions with commercial herds suggested that the 4-H community should be involved in regional efforts to control PRRS.
Objective—To identify important pathogens and characterize their serologic and pathologic effects in porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2)-infected pigs in relation to pig age and type of swine production system.
Animals—583 conventionally reared pigs.
Procedures—3- (n = 157), 9- (149), 16- (152), and 24-week-old (125) pigs from 41 different 1-, 2-, and 3-site production systems (5 pigs/age group/farm) were euthanized and necropsied. Pigs with and without PCV2 infection were identified (via PCR assay); infection with and serologic responses to other pathogens and pathologic changes in various tissues (including lungs) were assessed. Logistic regression models were constructed for effects overall and within each age group and type of production system.
Results—Compared with PCV2-negative pigs, PCV2-positive pigs were more likely to have swine influenza virus (SIV) type A and Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae infections and sample-to-positive (S:P) ratios for SIV H1N1 from 0.50 to 0.99; also, PCV2-positive pigs had higher serum anti-porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) antibody titers and more severe lung tissue damage. Infection with SIV (but lower SIV H1N1 S:P ratio) was more likely in 3-week-old PCV2-positive pigs and evidence of systemic disease was greater in 16-week-old PCV2-positive pigs than in their PCV2-negative counterparts. By site type, associations of coinfections and disease effects between PCV2-positive and -negative pigs were greatest in 3-site production systems.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In PCV2-positive pigs, coinfections with SIV, M hyopneumoniae, and PRRSV are important, having the greatest effect in the early to late nursery phase and in 3-site production systems.