Send to

Choose Destination
Emerg Infect Dis. 2003 Aug;9(8):903-8.

Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus: origin hypothesis.

Author information

University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455, USA.


Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome is a serious swine disease that appeared suddenly in the midwestern United States and central Europe approximately 14 years ago; the disease has now spread worldwide. In North America and Europe, the syndrome is caused by two genotypes of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV), an arterivirus whose genomes diverge by approximately 40%. My hypothesis, which explains the origin and evolution of the two distinct PRRSV genotypes, is that a mutant of a closely related arterivirus of mice (lactate dehydrogenase-elevating virus) infected wild boars in central Europe. These wild boars functioned as intermediate hosts and spread the virus to North Carolina in imported, infected European wild boars in 1912; the virus then evolved independently on the two continents in the prevalent wild hog populations for approximately 70 years until independently entering the domestic pig population.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for CDC-NCEZID Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center