Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) is one of the most relevant swine diseases in the US, costing the industry millions of dollars per year. Unfortunately, disease control is difficult because of the virus dynamics, as PRRS virus (PRRSV) can be transmitted by air between farms, especially, in regions with high density of swine operations. While long distance airborne transport of PRRSV has been reported, there is little information regarding the dynamics of PRRSV airborne challenge in concentrated regions. The objective of this study was to describe the frequency of detection, dose and diversity of PRRSV in air samples collected across four concentrated production regions during the PRRS-high risk season in the Midwestern US (October-December) in 2012. Between 29% and 42% of the air samples were positive in all four sampling sites. Sequencing of the recovered virus showed a wide diversity of field and vaccine variants. Higher frequency, dose, and diversity of PRRSV were observed in air at locations with higher pig density. These findings suggest that regional spread of PRRSV due to aerosol transmission of PRRSV represents a significant risk to susceptible herds in concentrated regions of domestic pig production where PRRSV is endemic.
- Air filtration
- Livestock diseases
- Molecular epidemiology
- Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome