The aim of this study was to develop a model to evaluate the aerosol transmission of porcine reproductive and respiratory disease virus (PRRSV). PRRSV (MN 30-100 strain, total dose 3 x 106 virus particles) was aerosolised and transported up to 150 m and a portable air sampler was used to collect air samples at 1, 30, 60, 90, 120 and 150 m (five replicates at each distance) and the air samples were tested by TaqMan PCR and virus isolation. The infectivity of the aerosolised PRRSV was tested by exposing six PRRSV-naive pigs for three hours to aerosolised virus that had been transported 150 m. PRRSV RNA was detected in all five replicate air samples collected at 1, 30, 60 and 90 m, in four of the five collected at 120 m, and in three of the five collected at 150 m. Infectious PRRSV was detected by virus isolation at 1 and 30 m (all five replicates), 60, 90 and 120 m (three of the five) and 150 m (two of the five). There was a 50 per cent reduction in the log concentration of PRRSV RNA every 33 m. Three of the six pigs exposed to PRRSV-positive aerosols became infected, and PRRSV RNA was detected in air samples and on swab samples collected from the interior of the chambers that housed the infected pigs while they were being exposed.
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