Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome viruses (PRRSV) have been divided into Type 1 (European) and Type 2 (North American) viruses. PRRSV are very diverse and Type 1 viruses have even been further divided into subtypes. While Type 1 viruses from Western Europe belong to subtype 1, viruses from Eastern Europe have been divided into at least 3 different subtypes based on the length of ORF7 and in addition, atypical Type 1 viruses do not readily group into the subtype groups. In experimental trials it has been shown that some of these viruses, e.g. strain Lena, are more virulent than the subtype 1 strains. The aim of this project was to study the infection dynamics and clinical and pathological impact of two east European Type 1 strains. In an experimental trial, infection of pigs with the Russian subtype 2 strain “Ili6” and the Belarusian atypical isolate “Bor59” were compared to an early “Lelystad-like” Danish subtype 1 isolate “18794”. Groups of seven pigs of unique high sanitary status were infected with one of the three PRRSV isolates, and a fourth group served as sham-inoculated controls. The pigs were monitored for 24 days, and nasal swabs and blood samples were taken at 0, 3, 7, 10, 14, 17, 21 and 24 days post infection (dpi). The pigs infected with the “Bor59” virus developed higher body temperature and more severe clinical symptoms compared to the other three groups, although the clinical signs in general were mild. The acute phase response was measured in serum samples as an objective indicator of infection. Acute phase protein C-reactive protein (CRP) showed an increase in levels in pigs infected with the Eastern European viruses with an earlier rise for Bor59 than for Ili6, both peaking at 10 dpi. In contrast, the CRP level did not increase significantly in neither the subtype 1 virus inoculated pigs nor the sham-inoculated controls. Acute phase protein haptoglobin showed a very early increase in Bor59 infected pigs, peaking at 3 dpi, while no increase was observed in Ili6 infected pigs. All of the virus inoculated pigs seroconverted, as measured by IPMA and ELISA, around 7 dpi, and virus was detected by real-time RT-PCR in serum at various quantities and times after infection; detailed PCR analyses are ongoing. Taken together, these preliminary data suggested that the east European subtype 2 isolate Ili6 and the atypical Bor59 strain induced more severe infection compared to the type 1 “Lelystad-like” virus isolate. This correlates with results obtained from studies of other east European PRRSV strains.
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International Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Symposium (PRRS 2013)