In the Murcia region of south east Spain, epidemics of transmissible gastroenteritis-like disease have occurred in pigs every three years since 1980. In 1987 a sero-epidemiological survey was conducted to estimate the prevalence and spread of transmissible gastroenteritis virus (TGEV) infection among breeding pigs and farms, and to determine any association between the infection and herd size and geographical zone. The Murcia region was divided into four geographical zones and the farms were classified by size into four categories. The random sample was statistically representative of both the breeding stock and the farms in each geographical zone, and the analyses involved 6000 breeding pigs from 480 farms. The immunological techniques employed were the indirect ELISA and the blocking ELISA. The prevalence of seropositive breeding pigs was 1.27 +/- 0.28 per cent and the prevalence of infected farms was 5 +/- 1.94 per cent. On the infected farms, the prevalence of seropositive pigs ranged from 5 to 60 per cent. The infection occurred throughout the Murcia region, but a significant association (P < 0.01) was observed between the geographical zone and the prevalence of TGEV infection. Herds with > or = 50 breeding pigs had a greater prevalence (P < 0.01) of TGEV infection.
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