Porcine astrovirus type 5-associated enteritis in pigs

Tanja Opriessnig, Chao-Ting Xiao, Patrick G Halbur

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Astroviruses (AstVs) are emerging, potentially zoonotic pathogens, associated with enteric and neurological signs in various animal species. In pigs, five lineages have been identified, porcine AstVs (PoAstVs) 15. We now report PoAstV5-associated atrophic enteritis in a colostrum-deprived (CD) pig and a similar disease in field cases of enteritis. Four newborn CD piglets were housed under biosafety level 2 conditions and monitored for the presence of PoAstV RNA in rectal swabs and tissues. PoAstV4 RNA was detected in low numbers (0.9–5.3 log10 genomic copies/rectal swab) in rectal swabs from all of these pigs while all animals were negative for PoAstV1, PoAstV2, PoAstV3 and PoAstV5. At 19 and 20 days of age, high levels of PoAstV5 RNA (7.4–7.5 log10 genomic copies/rectal swab) were detected in one pig, which had developed enteritis. At necropsy 1 day after the first evidence of PoAstV5 shedding, this pig was strongly positive for PoAstV5 RNA in most tissues with strong immunolabelling of PoAstV5 in enterocytes. Gene sequencing confirmed PoAstV5 infection. A retrospective investigation of PoAstVs 3, 4 and 5 in archival tissues from field cases of post-weaning enteritis identified high PoAstV4 or PoAstV5 antigen levels in intestinal tissues. These pigs were often concurrently infected with porcine rotavirus. Our findings suggest that PoAstV5 may contribute to the pathogenesis of enteritis in young pigs.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Comparative Pathology
Early online date1 Nov 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Nov 2020


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