Outbreaks of neuroinvasive astrovirus associated with encephalomyelitis, weakness, and paralysis among weaned pigs, Hungary

Ákos Boros, Mihály Albert, Péter Pankovics, Hunor Bíró, Patricia Pesavento, Tung Gia Phan, Eric Delwart, Gábor Reuter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

A large, highly prolific swine farm in Hungary had a 2-year history of neurologic disease among newly weaned (25- to 35-day-old) pigs, with clinical signs of posterior paraplegia and a high mortality rate. Affected pigs that were necropsied had encephalomyelitis and neural necrosis. Porcine astrovi­rus type 3 was identified by reverse transcription PCR and in situ hybridization in brain and spinal cord samples in 6 ani­mals from this farm. Among tissues tested by quantitative RT-PCR, the highest viral loads were detected in brain stem and spinal cord. Similar porcine astrovirus type 3 was also detect­ed in archived brain and spinal cord samples from another 2 geographically distant farms. Viral RNA was predominantly restricted to neurons, particularly in the brain stem, cerebel­lum (Purkinje cells), and cervical spinal cord. Astrovirus was generally undetectable in feces but present in respiratory samples, indicating a possible respiratory infection. Astrovi­rus could cause common, neuroinvasive epidemic disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1999-2010
Number of pages12
JournalEmerging Infectious Diseases
Volume23
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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