Samples of dust, faeces and effluent were collected from a piggery and examined for group A rotavirus, using a commercial ELISA test, electron microscopy and inoculation of MA-104 cells. Rotavirus antigen was demonstrated in samples collected from farrowing and weaner rooms but not from fattener and sow houses. Rotavirus antigen was also detected in samples collected from a weaner room which had been free of piglets for three months. A cytopathic porcine rotavirus (British isolate SW20/21) was kept at room temperature for four months; it survived with titres reduced by 2 log10. These observations suggest that the environment of commercial piggeries is an important source of rotaviral infection for young piglets.
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