Temporal characterization of transplacental infection of porcine fetuses with porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus

William L. Mengeling From the Virology Swine Research Unit, National Animal Disease Center, USDA, Agricultural Research Service, Ames, IA 50010.

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Kelly M. Lager From the Virology Swine Research Unit, National Animal Disease Center, USDA, Agricultural Research Service, Ames, IA 50010.

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Ann C. Vorwald From the Virology Swine Research Unit, National Animal Disease Center, USDA, Agricultural Research Service, Ames, IA 50010.

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Summary

Pregnant gilts were exposed to porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (prrsv ) by iv inoculation at or about gestation day 30 (3 gilts), 50 (3 gilts), 70 (3 gilts), or 90 (5 gilts) to investigate the likelihood of transplacental infection with prrsvat various stages of gestation. At or about 3, 6, and 9 weeks after exposure, gilts were either euthanatized while still pregnant or allowed to farrow. Gilts and pigs were observed for clinical signs of infection, and gilts, pigs, and fetuses were tested for prrsvand homologous antibody. All gilts were healthy throughout the study, except that farrowing was sometimes difficult and prolonged, and 2 gilts failed to farrow the entire litter. One gilt farrowed on day 111 of gestation; all others farrowed on day 114 or later. Porcine reproductive and respiratory virus was isolated from significantly (x2 test, P < 0.01) more fetuses and live and stillborn pigs of the 5 gilts that were infected at 90 or 92 days of gestation than from the fetuses and live and stillborn pigs of the 9 gilts that were infected at 72 or fewer days of gestation (ie, 33 of 44, 75% vs 3 of 78,4%). After initial infection, prrsvwas isolated from gilts and their pigs for a maximum of 3 weeks and 8 to 11 weeks, respectively. Findings of this study, with regard to the temporal aspects of transplacental infection, may help explain why natural epizootics of prrsv-induced maternal reproductive failure are often recognized principally as problems of late-term gestation and neonatal survival.

Summary

Pregnant gilts were exposed to porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (prrsv ) by iv inoculation at or about gestation day 30 (3 gilts), 50 (3 gilts), 70 (3 gilts), or 90 (5 gilts) to investigate the likelihood of transplacental infection with prrsvat various stages of gestation. At or about 3, 6, and 9 weeks after exposure, gilts were either euthanatized while still pregnant or allowed to farrow. Gilts and pigs were observed for clinical signs of infection, and gilts, pigs, and fetuses were tested for prrsvand homologous antibody. All gilts were healthy throughout the study, except that farrowing was sometimes difficult and prolonged, and 2 gilts failed to farrow the entire litter. One gilt farrowed on day 111 of gestation; all others farrowed on day 114 or later. Porcine reproductive and respiratory virus was isolated from significantly (x2 test, P < 0.01) more fetuses and live and stillborn pigs of the 5 gilts that were infected at 90 or 92 days of gestation than from the fetuses and live and stillborn pigs of the 9 gilts that were infected at 72 or fewer days of gestation (ie, 33 of 44, 75% vs 3 of 78,4%). After initial infection, prrsvwas isolated from gilts and their pigs for a maximum of 3 weeks and 8 to 11 weeks, respectively. Findings of this study, with regard to the temporal aspects of transplacental infection, may help explain why natural epizootics of prrsv-induced maternal reproductive failure are often recognized principally as problems of late-term gestation and neonatal survival.

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