The pathogenesis of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) infection in ovary was studied in sexually mature, cycling, nonsynchronized gilts infected with the PRRSV 16244B, a virulent field strain. Previous studies have shown that PRRSV can be isolated from ovaries and is transplacentally passed from gilts to the fetuses. The cause of infertility following PRRSV infection is not known. In this study, we identified the tropism of PRRSV in ovarian tissue from experimentally infected gilts in samples collected between 7 and 21 days postinfection (DPI). Tissues were collected and examined by virus isolation, in situ hybridization (ISH), immunohistochemistry (IHC), and double labeling to identify PRRSV-infected cell types. PRRSV was isolated in ovarian follicles at 7 days DPI. The IHC and ISH indicated that PRRSV-positive cells in ovaries were predominantly macrophages, which were numerous in atretic follicles. No evidence of infection and/or perpetuation of PRRSV in ova was observed, indicating that the female gonad is an unlikely site of persistence. No alteration of the normal ovarian architecture that would support a possible role of PRRSV infection in porcine female infertility was observed.
- Double labeling
- Granulosa cells
- In situ hybridization
- Resident macrophages of the ovary
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