First retrospective studies with etiological confirmation of porcine transmissible gastroenteritis virus infection in Argentina

Pablo Enrique Piñeyro, Maria Inez Lozada, Laura Valeria Alarcón, Ramon Sanguinetti, Javier Alejandro Cappuccio, Estefanía Marisol Pérez, Fabio Vannucci, Alberto Armocida, Darin Michael Madson, Carlos Juan Perfumo, Maria Alejandra Quiroga

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Background: In 2014, a notification of porcine transmissible gastroenteritis virus (TGEV) was made by the National Services of Animal Health of Argentina (SENASA) to the World Organization of Animal Health (OIE). The notification was based on a serological diagnosis in a small farm with a morbidity rate of 2.3% without enteric clinical signs. In order to determine if TGEV was circulating before the official report, a retrospective study on cases of neonatal diarrhea was performed. The selection criteria was a sudden increase in mortality in 1- to 21-day-old piglets with watery diarrhea that did not respond to antibiotics. Based on these criteria, three clinical cases were identified during 2010-2015. Results: All animals that were evaluated presented histological lesions consistent with enteric viral infection. The feces and ultrathin sections of intestine that were evaluated by electron microscopy confirmed the presence of round particles of approximately 80 nm in size and characterized by finely granular electrodense nucleoids consistent with complete particles of coronavirus. The presence of the TGEV antigen was confirmed by monoclonal specific immunohistochemistry, and final confirmation of a metabolically-active virus was performed by in situ hybridization to detect a TGE mRNA encoding spike protein. All sections evaluated in this case were negative for PEDV and rotavirus A. Conclusions: This is the first case series describing neonatal mortality with etiological confirmation of TGEV in Argentina. The clinical diagnosis of TGEV infections in endemic regions is challenging due to the epidemiological distribution and coinfection with other enteric pathogens that mask the clinical presentation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number292
JournalBMC Veterinary Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 24 2018

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© 2018 The Author(s).


  • Diarrhea
  • Mortality
  • Piglets
  • Porcine transmissible gastroenteritis virus


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