A major concern exists on transmission of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) via semen and effect of vaccination on PRRSV shedding in semen. Recent reports suggest that the virus can be transmitted by semen from hours infected experimentally or from natural sources. Seminal shedding, viremia, and changes in semen quality in boars with or without vaccination were examined. Nine boars were divided into three groups (three boars/group). Group I boars were vaccinated with 2 ml of RespPRRS vaccine (NOBL Laboratory) intramusculary and groups II and III were non-vaccinated. At 28 post-vaccination study days, group I and group II boars were challenged with virulent PRRSV VR-2332 at 2 ml of 104,0 TCID50 per boar intranasally. Group III served as non-vaccinated and non-challenged control. Semen and serum samples were collected from - 9 pre-vaccination study days to 85 post-challenge study days and tested for the presence of PRRSV by virus isolation and reverse transcription-nested polymerase chain reaction (RT-nPCR). Prior to detection of PRRSV RNA from samples, conditions for RT-nPCR were optimized. Two primer sets, an external and an internal, were selected for RT-nPCR. The first round of PCR using an external primer set could detect 10 TCID50 of PRRSV/reaction. However, nested PCR could detect as little as 0.01 TCID50 of PRRSV/reaction. PRRS vaccine virus was not isolated from vaccinated pigs, but the vaccine virus RNA was detected from three boars, at day 6 to 15, 9 to 12, and 15 to 21 post-vaccination by RT-nPCR. Following challenge, two of non-vaccinated/challenged hours shed virus into semen up to 50 and 57 days post-challenge, respectively. The group I vaccinated boars did not shed virus into semen after challenge. The non- vaccinated/challenged group featured sperm abnormalities in the form of significantly increased incidence of proximal droplets and abnormal tails at 36-50 days post-challenge. The latter defect was observed to increase similarly in vaccinated/challenged boars as well.
- Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome