Evaluation of the risk of PRRSV transmission via ingestion of muscle from persistently infected pigs

R. M. Molina, E. A. Nelson, J. Christopher-Hennings, R. Hesse, R. R.R. Rowland, J. J. Zimmerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The objectives of this experiment were to determine how long porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) could be detected in muscle tissues of experimentally infected pigs and to evaluate the transmissibility of PRRSV to pigs via ingestion of quantitative reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR)-positive muscle tissues. Serum, lymphoid tissues, and muscle (M. longissimus dorsi) samples were collected from 135 pigs (89 PRRSV-inoculated pigs and 46 negative control). Between 28 and 202 days post-inoculation, 13 of 89 (14.6%) muscle samples were positive by qRT-PCR. Among these 13, PRRSV was isolated from four of the 13 corresponding serum samples and three of 13 lymphoid tissue samples. In addition, infectious virus was detected in lymphoid tissue homogenates of six of 13 pigs by intramuscular bioassay. Swine transmissibility studies were performed by feeding thirteen 3-week-old PRRSV-naive pigs (recipient pigs) qRT-PCR-positive muscle and then monitoring recipients for evidence of PRRSV viremia by qRT-PCR. No transmission of PRRSV to recipient pigs via consumption of muscle samples was observed. These data suggested that qRT-PCR detected non-infectious PRRSV in pig meat and/or PRRSV is not highly transmissible to susceptible pigs via consumption of PRRSV-contaminated meat.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalTransboundary and Emerging Diseases
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Mar 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Bioassay
  • Muscle transudate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • veterinary(all)


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