Virological and Histopathological Findings in Boars Naturally Infected With Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus Type 1

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Major geographical transmission of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) occurs via semen when a boar stud is infected. This happened in Denmark in 2019, providing an opportunity to compare previous experimental PRRSV boar studies with natural PRRSV-1 infection in boars. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between the presence of PRRSV RNA in serum, semen, testicles, and epididymis of boars naturally infected with PRRSV and to describe the histological lesions in the testes and epididymis combined with direct visualisation of PRRSV-infected cells by immunohistochemical staining (IHC). The exact timing of infection of each boar was not determined, but based on serology the boars were divided into two groups: acute and late infections. All boars included were sampled the same day. In this study, 35 boars and 10 healthy boars from another PRRSV-negative boar stud were included as histological controls. PRRSV RNA was found most often in serum (51%) and least frequently in semen (22%) and was more often detected in the reproductive tract in the acute phase of infection (p < 0.0001; RR: 2.58). Mononuclear cells and multinuclear giant cells were present in the adluminal compartment of the testis and epididymis in PRRSV-infected boars, but not in control boars (p < 0.05), which supports the hypothesis that macrophages are involved in the venereal spread of the virus.
Original languageEnglish
Article number874498
JournalFrontiers in Microbiology
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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