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Decorte I.,Operational Direction Viral Diseases | Van Breedam W.,Ghent University | Van der Stede Y.,Operational Direction Interactions and Surveillance | Van der Stede Y.,Ghent University | And 3 more authors.
BMC Veterinary Research | Year: 2014

Background: Oral fluid collected by means of ropes has the potential to replace serum for monitoring and surveillance of important swine pathogens. Until now, the most commonly used method to collect oral fluid is by hanging a cotton rope in a pen. However, concerns about the influence of rope material on subsequent immunological assays have been raised. In this study, we evaluated six different rope materials for the collection of oral fluid and the subsequent detection of total and PRRSV-specific antibodies of different isotypes in oral fluid collected from PRRSV-vaccinated and infected pigs.Results: An initial experiment showed that IgA is the predominant antibody isotype in porcine saliva. Moreover, it was found that synthetic ropes may yield higher amounts of IgA, whereas all rope types seemed to be equally suitable for IgG collection. Although IgA is the predominant antibody isotype in porcine oral fluid, the PRRSV-specific IgA-based IPMA and ELISA tests were clearly not ideal for sensitive detection of PRRSV-specific IgA antibodies. In contrast, PRRSV-specific IgG in oral fluids was readily detected in PRRSV-specific IgG-based IPMA and ELISA tests, indicating that IgG is a more reliable isotype for monitoring PRRSV-specific antibody immunity in vaccinated/infected animals via oral fluids with the currently available tests.Conclusions: Since PRRSV-specific IgG detection seems more reliable than PRRSV-specific IgA detection for monitoring PRRSV-specific antibody immunity via oral fluids, and since all rope types yield equal amounts of IgG, it seems that the currently used cotton ropes are an appropriate choice for sample collection in PRRSV monitoring. © 2014 Decorte et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Verpoest S.,Operational Direction Viral Diseases | Cay A.B.,Operational Direction Viral Diseases | Van Campe W.,Experimental Center | Mostin L.,Experimental Center | And 4 more authors.
Journal of General Virology | Year: 2016

Although pseudorabies virus (PRV) has been eradicated in domestic swine in many countries, its presence in wild boars remains a threat for a reintroduction into the currently unprotected swine population. To assess the possible impact of such a reintroduction in a naive herd, an in vivo infection study using two genetically characterized wild boar PRV isolates (BEL24043 and BEL20075) representative for wild boar strains circulating in south-western and central Europe and the virulent NIA3 reference strain was performed in 2-and 15-week-old domestic pigs. Our study revealed an attenuated nature of both wild boar strains in 15-week-old pigs. In contrast, it showed the capacity of strain BEL24043 to induce severe clinical symptoms and mortality in young piglets, thereby confirming that the known age dependency of disease outcome after PRV infection also holds for wild boar isolates. Despite the absence of clinical disease in 15-week-old sows, both wild boar PRV strains were able to induce seroconversion, but to a different extent. Importantly, differences in infection and transmission capacity of both strains were observed in 15-week-old sows. Strain BEL24043 induced a more prolonged and disseminated infection than strain BEL20075 and was able to spread efficiently to contact animals, indicative of its capacity to induce a sustained infection. In conclusion, it was shown that a reintroduction of a wild boar isolate into the domestic swine population could have serious economic consequences due to the induction of clinical symptoms in piglets and by jeopardizing the PRV-negative status. © 2016 The Authors.


Decorte I.,Operational Direction Viral Diseases | Van der Stede Y.,Operational Direction Interactions and Surveillance | Van der Stede Y.,Ghent University | Nauwynck H.,Ghent University | And 2 more authors.
Veterinary Journal | Year: 2013

This study evaluated the effect of extraction-amplification methods, storage temperature and saliva stabilisers on detection of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) RNA by quantitative reverse transcriptase real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) in porcine oral fluid. The diagnostic performance of different extraction-amplification methods was examined using a dilution series of oral fluid spiked with PRRSV. To determine RNA stability, porcine oral fluid, with or without commercially available saliva stabilisers, was spiked with PRRSV, stored at 4 °C or room temperature and tested for the presence of PRRSV RNA by qRT-PCR. PRRSV RNA could be detected in oral fluid using all extraction-amplification combinations, but the limit of detection varied amongst different combinations. Storage temperature and saliva stabilisers had an effect on the stability of PRRSV RNA, which could only be detected for 7. days when PRRSV spiked oral fluid was kept at 4 °C or stabilised at room temperature with a commercial mRNA stabiliser. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


PubMed | Operational Direction Viral Diseases and Ghent University
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of virology | Year: 2016

The severity of clinical symptoms induced by pseudorabies virus (PRV) infection of its natural host is inversely related to the age of the pig. During this study, 2- and 15-week-old pigs were inoculated with PRV strain NIA3. This resulted in important clinical disease, although the associated morbidity and mortality were lower in older pigs. Quantitative PCR analysis of viral DNA in different organs confirmed the general knowledge on PRV pathogenesis. Several new findings and potential explanations for the observed age-dependent differences in virulence, however, were determined from the study of viral and cytokine mRNA expression at important sites of neuropathogenesis. First, only limited viral and cytokine mRNA expression was detected in the nasal mucosa, suggesting that other sites may serve as the primary replication site. Second, PRV reached the trigeminal ganglion (TG) and brain stem rapidly upon infection but, compared to 2-week-old pigs, viral replication was less pronounced in 15-week-old pigs, and the decrease in viral mRNA expression was not preceded by or associated with an increased cytokine expression. Third, extensive viral replication associated with a robust expression of cytokine mRNA was detected in the olfactory bulbs of pigs from both age categories and correlated with the observed neurological disease. Our results suggest that age-dependent differences in PRV-induced clinical signs are probably due to enhanced viral replication and associated immunopathology in immature TG and the central nervous system neurons of 2-week-old pigs and that neurological disease is related with extensive viral replication and an associated immune response in the olfactory bulb.It is well known that alphaherpesvirus infections of humans and animals result in more severe clinical disease in newborns than in older individuals and that this is probably related to differences in neuropathogenesis. The underlying mechanisms, however, remain unclear. Pseudorabies virus infection of its natural host, the pig, provides a suitable infection model to study this more profoundly. We show here that the severe neurological disease observed in 2-week-old pigs does not appear to be related to a hampered innate immune response but is more likely to reflect the immature development state of the trigeminal ganglia (TG) and central nervous system (CNS) neurons, resulting in an inefficient suppression of viral replication. In 15-week-old pigs, viral replication was efficiently suppressed in the TG and CNS without induction of an extensive immune response. Furthermore, our results provide evidence that neurological disease could, at least in part, be related to viral replication and associated immunopathology in the olfactory bulb.


De Regge N.,Operational Direction Viral Diseases | Madder M.,Institute of Tropical Medicine | Madder M.,University of Pretoria | Deblauwe I.,Institute of Tropical Medicine | And 6 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Indigenous Culicoides biting midges are suggested to be putative vectors for the recently emerged Schmallenberg virus (SBV) based on SBV RNA detection in field-caught midges. Furthermore, SBV replication and dissemination has been evidenced in C. sonorensis under laboratory conditions. After SBV had been detected in Culicoides biting midges from Belgium in August 2011, it spread all over the country by the end of 2011, as evidenced by very high between-herd seroprevalence rates in sheep and cattle. This study investigated if a renewed SBV circulation in midges occurred in 2012 in the context of high seroprevalence in the animal host population and evaluated if a recently proposed realtime RT-PCR approach that is meant to allow assessing the vector competence of Culicoides for SBV and bluetongue virus under laboratory conditions was applicable to field-caught midges. Therefore midges caught with 12 OVI traps in four different regions in Belgium between May and November 2012, were morphologically identified, age graded, pooled and tested for the presence of SBV RNA by realtime RT-PCR. The results demonstrate that although no SBV could be detected in nulliparous midges caught in May 2012, a renewed but short lived circulation of SBV in parous midges belonging to the subgenus Avaritia occured in August 2012 at all four regions. The infection prevalence reached up to 2.86% in the south of Belgium, the region where a lower seroprevalence was found at the end of 2011 than in the rest of the country. Furthermore, a frequency analysis of the Ct values obtained for 31 SBV-S segment positive pools of Avaritia midges showed a clear bimodal distribution with peaks of Ct values between 21-24 and 33-36. This closely resembles the laboratory results obtained for SBV infection of C. sonorensis and implicates indigenous midges belonging to the subgenus Avaritia as competent vectors for SBV. © 2014 De Regge et al.


Decorte I.,Operational Direction Viral Diseases | Van Campe W.,Experimental Center | Mostin L.,Experimental Center | Cay A.B.,Operational Direction Viral Diseases | De Regge N.,Operational Direction Viral Diseases
Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation | Year: 2015

There has been a developing interest in the use of oral fluid for the diagnosis of different pathogens such as Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV). PRRSV and PRRSV-specific antibodies have been shown to be present in oral fluid samples, but the correlation between diagnostic results in oral fluid and serum samples has been insufficiently addressed. Studies investigating this correlation focused on boars older than 6 months and type 2 strains, but it is known that the outcome of a PRRSV infection is age and strain dependent. To address this gap, the current study reports on the detection of PRRSV and PRRSV-specific antibodies in serum and oral fluid samples collected over a 6-week period after an experimental infection of 8-week-old individually housed pigs with Lelystad virus, the type 1 prototype strain. Quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction analysis showed that significantly more serum samples were PRRSV RNA–positive than oral fluid until 5 days postinfection (dpi). Between 7 and 21 dpi, PRRSV RNA detection was similar in both samples but higher detection rates in oral fluid were found from 28 dpi. Compared with existing literature, this highlights that detection rates at particular time points postinfection might vary in function of strain virulence and animal age and provides useful information for the interpretation of pen-based oral fluid results. An excellent agreement between the oral fluid and serum enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay results was observed at every time point, further supporting the usefulness of oral fluid as a diagnostic sample for antibody detection. © 2014 The Author(s).


The lack of seasonality of swine influenza A virus (swIAV) in combination with the capacity of swine to harbor a large number of co-circulating IAV lineages, resulting in the risk for the emergence of influenza viruses with pandemic potential, stress the importance of swIAV surveillance. To date, active surveillance of swIAV worldwide is barely done because of the short detection period in nasal swab samples. Therefore, more sensitive diagnostic methods to monitor circulating virus strains are requisite.qRT-PCR and virus isolations were performed on oral fluid and nasal swabs collected from individually housed pigs that were infected sequentially with H1N1 and H3N2 swIAV strains. The same methods were also applied to oral fluid samples spiked with H1N1 to study the influence of conservation time and temperature on swIAV infectivity and detectability in porcine oral fluid.All swIAV infected animals were found qRT-PCR positive in both nasal swabs and oral fluid. However, swIAV could be detected for a longer period in oral fluid than in nasal swabs. Despite the high detectability of swIAV in oral fluid, virus isolation from oral fluid collected from infected pigs was rare. These results are supported by laboratory studies showing that the PCR detectability of swIAV remains unaltered during a 24 h incubation period in oral fluid, while swIAV infectivity drops dramatically immediately upon contact with oral fluid (3 log titer reduction) and gets lost after 24 h conservation in oral fluid at ambient temperature.Our data indicate that porcine oral fluid has the potential to replace nasal swabs for molecular diagnostic purposes. The difficulty to isolate swIAV from oral fluid could pose a drawback for its use in active surveillance programs.


Oral fluid collected by means of ropes has the potential to replace serum for monitoring and surveillance of important swine pathogens. Until now, the most commonly used method to collect oral fluid is by hanging a cotton rope in a pen. However, concerns about the influence of rope material on subsequent immunological assays have been raised. In this study, we evaluated six different rope materials for the collection of oral fluid and the subsequent detection of total and PRRSV-specific antibodies of different isotypes in oral fluid collected from PRRSV-vaccinated and infected pigs.An initial experiment showed that IgA is the predominant antibody isotype in porcine saliva. Moreover, it was found that synthetic ropes may yield higher amounts of IgA, whereas all rope types seemed to be equally suitable for IgG collection. Although IgA is the predominant antibody isotype in porcine oral fluid, the PRRSV-specific IgA-based IPMA and ELISA tests were clearly not ideal for sensitive detection of PRRSV-specific IgA antibodies. In contrast, PRRSV-specific IgG in oral fluids was readily detected in PRRSV-specific IgG-based IPMA and ELISA tests, indicating that IgG is a more reliable isotype for monitoring PRRSV-specific antibody immunity in vaccinated/infected animals via oral fluids with the currently available tests.Since PRRSV-specific IgG detection seems more reliable than PRRSV-specific IgA detection for monitoring PRRSV-specific antibody immunity via oral fluids, and since all rope types yield equal amounts of IgG, it seems that the currently used cotton ropes are an appropriate choice for sample collection in PRRSV monitoring.

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