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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)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research