Biological responses to porcine respiratory and reproductive syndrome virus in pigs of two genetic populations

D. B. Petry, J. W. Holl, J. S. Weber, A. R. Doster, F. A. Osorio, R. K. Johnson

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62 Scopus citations


One hundred pigs from the NE Index Line (NEI) and 100 Hampshire-Duroc cross pigs (HD) were inoculated intranasally with porcine respiratory and reproductive syndrome virus (PRRSV 97-7895 strain) at 26 d of age to determine whether genetic variation in response to PRRSV exists. An uninfected littermate to each infected pig served as a control. Pigs were from 163 dams and 83 sires. Body weight and rectal temperature were recorded, and blood samples were drawn from each pig on d 0 before inoculation and on d 4, 7, and 14 after inoculation. Pigs were sacrificed on d 14. Lung and bronchial lymph nodes were collected, placed in optimal cutting temperature compound, and frozen at -80°C. The presence of PRRSV in serum and in lung tissue and bronchial lymph nodes was determined by isolation in cell culture. The presence of antibodies in serum collected on d 14 was determined by a commercial ELISA test. Lung tissue was examined microscopically and scored for incidence and severity of lesions (score of 1 to 3; 1 = no or few lesions, and 3 = severe interstitial pneumonia). Data were analyzed with a mixed model that included random sire and dam effects. The interaction of line × treatment was significant (P < 0.001) for weight change and rectal temperature. Uninfected HD pigs gained 0.67 kg more from d 0 to 14 and averaged 0.32°C higher rectal temperature than uninfected NEI pigs (P < 0.001), whereas infected NEI pigs gained 0.34 kg more and had -0.54°C lower temperature than infected HD pigs (P < 0.001). Viremic titer (cell culture infectious dose 50%/mL) was greater (P < 0.05) in HD than NEI at d 4 (104.52 vs. 104.22), 7 (104.47 vs. 103.99), and 14 (103.49 vs. 103.23). Viral titer loads in lung (P = 0.11) and bronchial lymph nodes tended (P = 0.07) to be greater in HD than NEI pigs. Antibody signal-to-positive (S/P) ELISA ratios in infected pigs ranged from 0.18 to 3.38, and 88% had levels ≥0.40, which is the positive threshold for this ELISA. The S/P range in uninfected pigs was 0 to 1.11, and 99% had levels ≤0.40. Mean S/P ratio for infected pigs was 0.23 units higher in HD than in NEI (P < 0.001). The HD pigs had a greater incidence of interstitial pneumonia and 0.65 higher mean lesion scores than NEI pigs (P < 0.001). In summary, responses of pigs of the two lines to infection with PRRSV differed, indicating that underlying genetic variation existed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1494-1502
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2005


  • Biological Indicators
  • Genetic Variation
  • Virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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