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Infectiousness of pigs infected by the Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome virus (PRRSV) is time-dependent

Céline Charpin1, Sophie Mahé1, André Keranflec’h1, Catherine Belloc2, Roland Cariolet1, Marie-Frédérique Le Potier1 and Nicolas Rose1*

Author Affiliations

1 Anses – laboratoire de Ploufragan-Plouzané, BP53, 22440, Ploufragan, France

2 UMR BioEpAR, Oniris, INRA, LUNAM, BP 40706, 44307, Nantes Cedex 03, France

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Veterinary Research 2012, 43:69  doi:10.1186/1297-9716-43-69

Published: 12 October 2012


The time-dependent transmission rate of Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus (PRRSV) and the correlation between infectiousness, virological parameters and antibody responses of the infected pigs were studied in experimental conditions. Seven successive transmission trials involving a total of 77 specific pathogen-free piglets were carried out from 7 to 63 days post-inoculation (dpi). A semi-quantitative real time RT-PCR was developed to assess the evolution of the viral genome load in blood and nasal swabs from inoculated and contact pigs, with time. Virus genome in blood was detectable in inoculated pigs from 7 to 77 dpi, whereas viral genome shedding was detectable from nasal swabs from 2 to 48 dpi. The infectiousness of inoculated pigs, assessed from the frequency of occurrence of infected pigs in susceptible groups in each contact trial, increased from 7 to 14 dpi and then decreased slowly until 42 dpi (3, 7, 2, 1 and 0 pigs infected at 7, 14, 21, 28 and 42 dpi, respectively). These data were used to model the time-dependent infectiousness by a lognormal-like function with a latency period of 1 day and led to an estimated basic reproduction ratio, R0 of 2.6 [1.8, 3.3]. The evolution of infectiousness was mainly correlated with the time-course of viral genome load in the blood whereas the decrease of infectiousness was strongly related to the increase in total antibodies.