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Theriogenology. 1997 Feb;47(3):647-54.

Insemination of susceptible and preimmunized gilts with boar semen containing porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus.

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Departamento de Patología Animal I, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Facultad de Veterinaria, Avda. Puerta de Hierro s/n., 28040 Madrid, Spain.


Twenty-one gilts without measurable PRRSV serum antibody titres were identified for this experiment. Seven gilts were used as controls (Group C) and 14 as principals. Of these, 7 gilts were preimmunized to PRRSV and constituted Group B, while 7 gilts remained seronegative and constituted Group A. The principal gilts were inseminated with boar semen containing PRRSV and were killed 20 d later. The control gilts were treated similarly but were not exposed to PRRSV. Gilts were observed for clinical signs of infection. The effects on the conception rates were studied and gilts and embryos were tested for PRRSV and homologous antibodies. Group A and B gilts developed signs of PRRS associated with anorexia and slightly elevated body temperatures. Transmission of the infection was demonstrated by the isolation of PRRSV from serum and other tissue samples of principal gilts and also by seroconversion. The results show that early infection may have an insignificant effect or no effect on the conception and fertilization rates. However, exposure to PRRSV at the time of insemination can result in transplacental infection of embryos. In Group A gilts, 5 of 6 litters were infected prenatally with 7.6% of embryos infected. In Group B gilts, 1 of 5 litters and 1.3% of embryos were infected. Moreover, approximately 2 and 4 times more embryos were dead in litters of gilts from Group A and Group B than in gilts from control Group C. The isolation of PRRSV in 3 dead embryos suggests that the embryos may have died as a result of the direct effect of the virus. It can be concluded that the insemination of either seronegative or preimmunized gilts with boar semen containing PRRS V may have an insignificant effect or no effect on conception and fertilization rates, although it can result in transmission of the virus and embryonic infection and death.


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