The current study was performed to determine if porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) could be transmitted to pigs by feeding muscle tissue obtained from recently infected pigs. Muscle obtained from pigs infected with either a European strain (EU donor pigs) or American strain (US donor pigs) of PRRSV was fed to PRRSV-free receiver pigs. The donor pigs were slaughtered 11 days post-infection (dpi). PRRSV was detected by conventional virus isolation in muscle at 11 dpi from 7 of 12 EU donor pigs and 5 of 12 US donor pigs. In contrast to conventional virus isolation, all muscle samples from infected pigs were positive for viral nucleic acid by PCR, except for muscle from one animal infected with the American strain of PRRSV. Five hundred grams of raw semimembranosus muscle from each of the donor pigs was fed over a 2 days period (250 g per day) to each of two receiver pigs (48 receiver pigs). The receiver pigs were housed separately in five groups. One of the five groups was fed muscle obtained from US donor pigs that was also spiked with the American strain of PRRSV. Sentinel pigs were placed in-contact with the group of receiver pigs fed spiked muscle. All receiver pigs became viraemic by 6 days post-feeding (dpf). There was evidence of horizontal transmission with sentinel pigs, in-contact with receiver pigs, becoming viraemic. The study demonstrates that PRRSV could be infectious through the oral route via the feeding of meat obtained from recently infected pigs.
- lelystad virus