Experimental infection of conventional nursing pigs and their dams with Porcine deltacoronavirus

Sarah Vitosh-Sillman, John Dustin Loy, Bruce Brodersen, Clayton Kelling, Alan Doster, Christina Topliff, Eric Nelson, Jianfa Bai, Erin Schirtzinger, Elizabeth Poulsen, Barbara Meadors, Joseph Anderson, Benjamin Hause, Gary Anderson, Richard Hesse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Porcine deltacoronavirus (PDCoV) is a newly identified virus that has been detected in swine herds of North America associated with enteric disease. The aim of this study was to demonstrate the pathogenicity, course of infection, virus kinetics, and aerosol transmission of PDCoV using 87 conventional piglets and their 9 dams, including aerosol and contact controls to emulate field conditions. Piglets 2–4 days of age and their dams were administered an oronasal PDCoV inoculum with a quantitative real-time reverse transcription (qRT)-PCR quantification cycle (Cq) value of 22 that was generated from a field sample having 100% nucleotide identity to USA/Illinois121/2014 determined by metagenomic sequencing and testing negative for other enteric disease agents using standard assays. Serial samples of blood, serum, oral fluids, nasal and fecal swabs, and tissues from sequential autopsy, conducted daily on days 1–8 and regular intervals thereafter, were collected throughout the 42-day study for qRT-PCR, histopathology, and immunohistochemistry. Diarrhea developed in all inoculated and contact control pigs, including dams, by 2 days post-inoculation (dpi) and in aerosol control pigs and dams by 3–4 dpi, with resolution occurring by 12 dpi. Mild to severe atrophic enteritis with PDCoV antigen staining was observed in the small intestine of affected piglets from 2 to 8 dpi. Mesenteric lymph node and small intestine were the primary sites of antigen detection by immunohistochemistry, and virus RNA was detected in these tissues to the end of the study. Virus RNA was detectable in piglet fecal swabs to 21 dpi, and dams to 14–35 dpi.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)486-497
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016


  • Novel coronaviruses
  • Porcine deltacoronavirus
  • porcine diarrhea
  • porcine enteric coronavirus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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