Detection of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus in semen and serum of boars during the first six days after inoculation

Darwin L. Reicks, Claudia A Munoz-Zanzi, William Mengeling, Jane Christopher-Hennings, Kelly Lager, Dale Polson, Scott Dee, Stephanie A Rossow

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14 Scopus citations


Objectives: To determine, during the first 6 days post inoculation, when porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) can be detected in serum or semen by polymerase chain reaction (PCR); the impact of pooling on detection of PRRSV by PCR; and the possible association between rectal temperature and detection of PRRSV in serum by PCR. Materials and methods: Forty mature boars (four groups of 10) were inoculated intranasally with PRRSV variant MN 30-100. Serum and semen samples were collected on a rotating basis from one group every 12 hours for 6 days and tested for PRRSV by PCR. Rectal temperatures were recorded for all 40 boars at 12-hour intervals. Results: Serum samples became PCR-positive before semen samples. During the first 6 days after inoculation, serum was PRRSV-positive in 36 of 40 boars, and semen was PRRSV-positive in four of 40 boars. Median time to detection was 36 and 48 hours for nested PCR and Taqman PCR, respectively. Results were inconsistent when a positive semen sample was pooled with negative semen. Elevated rectal temperature was not associated with PCR-positive serum or semen results. Implications: Under the conditions of this study, PCR is more sensitive and detects PRRSV-infected boars earlier in serum than in semen. Pooling of positive semen samples provides variable PCR results. Rectal temperatures are not correlated with PCR-positive results. Sampling techniques are needed to more easily obtain serum samples for PCR from boars once or twice weekly at the time of semen collection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-41
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Swine Health and Production
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2006


  • Boar
  • Polymerase chain reaction
  • Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus
  • Semen
  • Swine


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