Detection and Cellular Tropism of Porcine Astrovirus Type 3 on Breeding Farms

Rawal, Gaurav
Rawal, Gaurav
Linhares, Daniel
Ferreyra, Franco
Macedo, Nubia
Bradner, Laura
Harmon, Karen
Mueller, Adam
Allison, Grant
Linhares, Daniel
Arruda, Bailey
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Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine

Astroviruses cause disease in a variety of species. Yet, little is known about the epidemiology of a majority of astroviruses including porcine astrovirus type 3 (PoAstV3), which is a putative cause of polioencephalomyelitis in swine. Accordingly, a cross-sectional study was conducted on sow farms with or without reported PoAstV3-associated neurologic disease in growing pigs weaned from those farms. Additionally, a conveniently selected subset of piglets from one farm was selected for gross and histologic evaluation. The distribution of PoAstV3 in the enteric system was evaluated through in situ hybridization. PoAstV3, as detected by RT-qPCR on fecal samples, was frequently detected across sows and piglets (66–90%) on all farms (65–85%). PoAstV3 was detected subsequently at a similar detection frequency (77% vs 85%) on one farm after three months. Viral shedding, as determined by the cycle quantification value, suggests that piglets shed higher quantities of virus than adult swine. No link between gastrointestinal disease and PoAstV3 was found. However, PoAstV3 was detected by in situ in myenteric plexus neurons of piglets elucidating a possible route of spread of the virus from the gastrointestinal tract to the central nervous system. These data suggest PoAstV3 has endemic potential, is shed in the feces at greater quantities by suckling piglets when compared to sows, and infection is widespread on farms in which it is detected.


This article is published as Rawal, Gaurav, Franco Matias Ferreyra, Nubia R Macedo, Laura K Bradner, Karen M Harmon, Adam Mueller, Grant Allison, Daniel CL Linhares, and Bailey L Arruda. "Detection and Cellular Tropism of Porcine Astrovirus Type 3 on Breeding Farms." Viruses 11, no. 11 (2019): 1051. DOI: 10.3390/v11111051. Posted with permission.