Isolation of a novel viral agent associated with porcine reproductive and neurological syndrome and reproduction of the disease

Department of Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, USA.
Veterinary Microbiology (Impact Factor: 2.51). 04/2008; 131(1-2):35-46. DOI: 10.1016/j.vetmic.2008.02.026
Source: PubMed


Disease outbreaks characterized by reproductive failure and/or neurologic disorders, which are commonly referred as "Porcine Reproductive and Neurologic Syndrome (PRNS)", were observed in many swine farms in Iowa and other states. Although an infectious cause was suspected to account for the disease, no conclusive diagnosis had been reached with respect to conventional infectious agents. Extensive laboratory diagnostic investigation on suspect cases repeatedly resulted in the isolation of a cytopathic enveloped virus of 50-60nm in size from nervous and second lymphoid tissues and sera and, to reflect its unknown identity, named "Virus X". The presence of virus particle with morphological characteristics similar to Virus X in tissues from affected animals was also observed on thin-section positive-staining electron microscopy. Isolates of Virus X were not readily recognized by antibodies raised against any known viruses pathogenic to swine but by antisera collected from animals surviving clinical episode, indicating that Virus X is likely a previously unrecognized agent. Pregnant sows experimentally inoculated with Virus X (ISUYP604671) or homogenate (filtrate) of tissues from a clinically affected animal developed clinical signs and pathological changes similar to field observations including the loss of pregnancy. Furthermore, caesarian-derived, colostrum-deprived young pigs developed mild encephalomyelitis lesions in brains after experimental inoculation with the virus or the tissue homogenate although clinical neurologic signs were not observed. More importantly, Virus X was re-isolated from all inoculated animals while control pigs remained negative for the virus during the study. Collectively, Virus X is a novel viral agent responsible for PRNS and remains to be further characterized for taxonomical identity.

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