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Vet Microbiol. 2010 Apr 21;142(1-2):26-33. doi: 10.1016/j.vetmic.2009.09.039. Epub 2009 Sep 30.

Characterisation of experimental infections of domestic pigs with genotype 2.1 and 3.3 isolates of classical swine fever virus.

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Veterinary Laboratories Agency, New Haw, Surrey, KT15 3NB, UK.


The early identification of classical swine fever epizootics is hampered by difficulties in recognising early signs of infection, due to a lack of specific clinical signs. In addition many textbook descriptions of CSF are based on observations of disease caused by historic, mainly genotype 1, strains. Our objective was to improve our knowledge of the diverse range of signs that different CSFV strains can cause by characterising the experimental infection of domestic pigs with both a recent strain of CSFV and a divergent strain. Conventional pigs were inoculated with a genotype 2.1 isolate, that caused an outbreak in the UK in 2000, and a genotype 3.3 strain that is genetically divergent from European strains. This latter strain is also antigenically distinct as it is only poorly recognised by the CSFV-specific monoclonal antibody, WH303. Transmission was monitored by use of in-contact animals. Clinical, virological and haematological parameters were observed and an extended macro- and histopathological scoring system allowed detailed characterisation of pathological lesions. Infection with the genotype 2.1 isolate resulted in a similar outcome to other recent genotype 2 European strains, whereas the genotype 3.3 strain produced fewer and delayed clinical signs, notably with little fever. This strain would therefore be particularly difficult to detect in the early stages of infection and highlights the importance of encouraging early submission of samples for laboratory diagnosis. As representatives of recent and divergent CSFV isolates, these strains are good candidates to study the pathogenesis of current CSFV isolates and as challenge models for vaccine development.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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