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Evaluation of the role of mallard ducks as vectors of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus
  1. C. Trincado, DVM1,
  2. S. Dee, DVM, MS, PhD, DipACVM1,
  3. C. Pijoan, DVM, PhD1,
  4. K. Rossow, DVM, PhD2 and
  5. D. Halvorson, DVM3
  1. 1 Swine Disease Eradication Center, Room 385C, University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, 1988 Fitch Avenue, St Paul, MN 55108, USA
  2. 2 Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, 1333 Gortner Avenue, St Paul, MN 55108, USA
  3. 3 Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, 1971 Commonwealth Avenue, St Paul, MN 55108, USA
  1. Swine Disease Eradication Center, Room 385C, University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, 1988 Fitch Avenue, St Paul, MN 55108, USA

Abstract

To assess the transmission of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) from pigs to mallard ducks, 10 adult (one-year-old) female mallard ducks were housed with pigs infected experimentally with PRRSV, and allowed to be in close contact with them for 21 days. To evaluate the transmission of PRRSV from mallard ducks to pigs, two adult ducks were inoculated orally with PRRSV (total dose 106.0 TCID50) and allowed to drink PRRsv-infected water; 24 hours later, two four-week-old PRRSv-naive sentinel pigs were housed in pens below the cages housing the ducks for 14 days. In both experiments, cloacal and faecal samples were collected three times a week from the ducks and tested by PcR, virus isolation and a pig bioassay. Blood samples from the pigs were tested by ELISA, PCR and virus isolation. Sera from the ducks were tested by serum neutralisation. The ducks were examined postmortem and selected tissues were tested by PcR, virus isolation, histopathology and pig bioassay. In both experiments all the cloacal swabs, faecal samples, tissues and sera from the ducks were negative by all the tests. The sera from the pigs in the first experiment were PCR positive at three, seven, 14 and 21 days after infection and ELISA positive at 14 and 21 days. Sera from the pigs in the second experiment were negative by all the tests. The virus was isolated from the oral inoculum and the drinking water provided for the ducks in the second experiment. Under the conditions of this study, it was not possible to demonstrate the transmission of PRRSV either from the pigs to the ducks or from the ducks to the pigs.

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