Practical aspects of PRRSV RNA detection in processing fluids collected in commercial swine farms
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Processing fluid samples are easily collected under field conditions and provide the means to test more piglets more frequently in a practical way, thereby improving PRRSV surveillance. However, a deeper understanding of the diagnostic characteristics of this newly described sample type is still required. Therefore, the objective of this field-based study was to determine the relationship between viremic piglets and the detection of PRRSV RNA in processing fluid samples. In two PRRSV-positive breeding herds, processing fluids (n = 77) and individual piglet serum samples (n = 834) were collected from 77 litters in three sampling events and tested for PRRSV RNA. Among the 77 litters in the study, 55 litters (71.4%) contained no viremic piglets and processing fluids tested negative for PRRSV RNA. Among the 22 (28.6%) litters with ≥1 viremic piglets, 10 litters contained a single viremic piglet and 5 of the 10 processing fluids from this group tested positive for PRRSV RNA. Based on a fitted mixed effects logistic regression model, the probability of detecting PRRSV RNA in processing fluids was highly dependent on the number of viremic piglets contributing to the sample. When the within-litter prevalence was ≥39%, the probability of detecting PRRSV RNA in processing fluids was ≥95%. By extension, the results suggest that pooling processing fluids from several litters increases the probability of PRRSV RNA detection because of the greater likelihood of including multiple litters each with ≥1 viremic piglets. In contemporary breeding herds that use processing fluid samples for PRRSV surveillance, the diagnostic costs associated with testing 100% of the processing-age piglet population can be estimated at €0.077 ($0.086 USD) per pig weaned. In contrast, to achieve an equivalent testing coverage with the use of individual piglet serum samples, the diagnostic costs associated would be €4.48 ($5.00 USD) per pig weaned. Processing fluid represents a practical, reliable and efficient method to surveil breeding herds for PRRSV because it allows for continuous surveillance at a low cost.
This is a manuscript of an article published as López, Will, Jeffrey J. Zimmerman, Phil Gauger, Karen Harmon, Laura Bradner, Min Zhang, Luis Giménez-Lirola, Alejandro Ramirez, Jean Paul Cano, and Daniel CL Linhares. "Practical aspects of PRRSV RNA detection in processing fluids collected in commercial swine farms." Preventive Veterinary Medicine (2020): 105021. DOI: 10.1016/j.prevetmed.2020.105021. Posted with permission.