Use of processing fluids and serum samples to characterize porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus dynamics in 3 day-old pigs

Carles Vilalta, Juan Sanhueza, Julio Alvarez, Deb Murray, Montserrat Torremorell, Cesar Corzo, Robert Morrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Highlights • Processing fluids (PF) constitute a useful sample to detect PRRSV infections at processing. • PRRSV can circulate in the farm at a low prevalence, increasing the chances of a re-break. • Young parity female litters should be targeted for PRRSV detection. • Current practice to bleed 30 pigs could be underestimating PRRSV prevalence in the herd. • The decrease in sensitivity at the litter level can be compensated by sampling more litters to detect PRRSV at the herd level. Abstract Collection of serum samples of pigs at weaning to monitor for porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) has become a common practice to determine PRRSV herd infection status. Diagnostic sensitivity of this practice is low in herds undergoing PRRSV elimination once prevalence of infection is near zero. Thus, the goal of this study was to characterize the dynamics of PRRSV infection in 3 day-old pigs overtime using serum and serosanguineous fluids obtained as part of castration and tail docking practices (processing fluids (PF)). Secondary goal was to estimate sensitivity and specificity of PF in the 3 day old population. A 6000 breed-to-wean sow herd was monitored every three weeks for 23 weeks after a PRRSV outbreak by collecting both PF and individual serum samples from all pigs in the selected litters. Out of the 77 litters tested, 23 (29.8%) were identified as positive using the PF and the serum samples, with a Cohen's kappa statistic of 0.81 (95% CI: 0.59–1) between the results obtained in each sample type. The sensitivity and specificity of the PF relative to the results in serum was 87% (95% CI: 66%–97%) and 94% (95% CI: 85%–99%) respectively. The percentage of PRRSV positive litters decreased over time and litters from gilts were more likely to test positive than those from older sows. Overall, the study demonstrates that PF can be a convenient and reliable specimen to monitor PRRSV infection in breeding herds.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)149-156
Number of pages8
JournalVeterinary Microbiology
StatePublished - Nov 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was funded by the Awards Advancing Research in Respiratory Disease from Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc, and the Swine Disease Eradication Center of the University of Minnesota . The authors would like to acknowledge My Yang, Jorge Garrido, Alejandro Casanova and Shaoqin Wu for their assistance during sample collection and processing. CV would like to specially acknowledge the role of Robert Morrison as mentor, colleague and friend.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier B.V.

Copyright 2018 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • PORCINE reproductive & respiratory syndrome
  • SWINE breeding
  • SWINE genetics
  • DISEASE prevalence
  • BLOOD serum analysis
  • Monitoring
  • Processing fluids

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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