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Vet Microbiol. 1997 Jun 30;57(1):69-81.

Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus: routes of excretion.

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Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, University of Nebraska-Lincoln 68583, USA.


This study was conducted to delineate potential sites of exit and duration of shedding of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV). Two experiments of 6 pigs each were conducted. Pigs were farrowed in isolation, weaned at 7 days of age, and housed in individual HEPA filtered isolation chambers. In each experiment, 3 pigs served as controls and 3 were inoculated intranasally with PRRSV (ATCC VR-2402) at 3 weeks of age. In a first experiment, on days 7, 14, 21, 28, 35, and 42 post-inoculation (p.i.), pigs were anesthetized and intubated. The following samples were collected: serum, saliva, conjunctival swabs, urine by cystocentesis, and feces. Upon recovery from anesthesia, the endotracheal tube was removed, rinsed, and the rinse retained. In the second experiment, the sampling schedule was expanded and serum, saliva, and oropharyngeal samples were collected from day 55 to day 124 p.i. at 14 day intervals. Virus was isolated in porcine alveolar macrophages up to day 14 from urine, day 21 from serum, day 35 from endotracheal tube rinse, day 42 from saliva, and day 84 from oropharyngeal samples. No virus was recovered from conjunctival swabs, fecal samples, or negative control samples. This is the first report of isolation of PRRSV from saliva. Virus-contaminated saliva, especially when considered in the context of social dominance behavior among pigs, may plan an important role in PRRSV transmission. These results support previous reports of persistent infection with PRRSV with prolonged recovery of virus from tonsils of swine.

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