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Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine, Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory

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Astroviruses (AstVs) cause disease in a wide variety of species. Porcine AstVs are highly genetically diverse and conventionally assigned to five genetic lineages (PoAstV1-5). Due to the increasing evidence that porcine astrovirus type 3 (PoAstV3) is a cause of encephalomyelitis in swine and to elucidate important ecologic characteristics, the infection dynamics and environmental distribution of PoAstV3 were investigated in a herd with PoAstV3-associated neurologic disease. Over a 22 week period, the frequency of PoAstV3 fecal shedding varied by pig and age. The peak detection by RT-qPCR of PoAstV3 on fecal swabs (95%; 61 of 64) occurred at 3 weeks of age. The lowest frequency of detection was at 21 weeks of age (4%; 2 of 47); however, the frequency increased to 41% (19 of 46) at the final sampling time point (25 weeks of age). Viremia was rare (0.9%: 4 of 433). Detection in oral fluid was consistent with 75% to 100% of samples positive at each time point. Pens and feeders also had a high rate of detection with a majority of samples positive at a majority of sampling time points. Based on the data presented, PoAstV3 can be consistently detected in the environment with a majority of pigs being infected and a subset intermittently shedding the virus in feces out to 25 weeks of age. These findings suggest the importance of as-yet unidentified risk factors associated with the development of PoAstV3-associated polioencephalomyelitis.


This article is published as Rawal, Gaurav, Franco Matias Ferreyra, Nubia R. Macedo, Laura K. Bradner, Karen M. Harmon, Grant Allison, Daniel CL Linhares, and Bailey L. Arruda. "Ecology of Porcine Astrovirus Type 3 in a Herd with Associated Neurologic Disease." Viruses 12, no. 9 (2020): 992. DOI: 10.3390/v12090992. Posted with permission.

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