We determined tissue localization, shedding patterns, virus carriage, antibody response, and aerosol transmission of Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) following inoculation of 4-week-old feeder pigs. Thirty-three pigs were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 groups for the 42-day study: inoculated (group A; n = 23), contact transmission (group B; n = 5), and aerosol transmission (group C; n = 5). Contact transmission occurred rapidly to group B pigs whereas productive aerosol transmission failed to occur to group C pigs. Emesis was the first clinical sign noted at 3 days postinoculation (dpi) followed by mild to moderate diarrhea lasting 5 more days. Real-time PCR detected PEDV in fecal and nasal swabs, oral fluids, serum, and gastrointestinal and lymphoid tissues. Shedding occurred primarily during the first 2 weeks postinoculation, peaking at 5–6 dpi; however, some pigs had PEDV nucleic acid detected in swabs collected at 21 and 28 dpi. Antibody titers were measurable between 14 and 42 dpi. Although feces and intestines collected at 42 dpi were PEDV negative by PCR and immunohistochemistry, respectively, small intestines from 70% of group A pigs were PCR positive. Although disease was relatively mild and transient in this age group, the results demonstrate that 4-week-old pigs are productively infected and can sustain virus replication for several weeks. Long-term shedding of PEDV in subclinically affected pigs should be considered an important source for PEDV transmission.
- Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus
ASJC Scopus subject areas