Free access
Vet. Res.
Volume 40, Number 1, January-February 2009
Number of page(s) 11
Published online 31 October 2008
How to cite this article Vet. Res. (2009) 40:10
How to cite this article: Vet. Res. (2009) 40:10
DOI: 10.1051/vetres:2008048

Infectivity of porcine circovirus type 2 DNA in semen from experimentally-infected boars

Darin M. Madson1, Sheela Ramamoorthy2, Chris Kuster3, Narinder Pal1, Xiang-Jin Meng2, Patrick G. Halbur1 and Tanja Opriessnig1

1  Department of Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, USA
2  Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology, Center for Molecular Medicine and Infectious Diseases, College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA
3  Kuster Research and Consulting, 22509 East 1680th Street, Geneseo, Illinois, 61254, USA

Received 6 July 2008; accepted 29 October 2008; published online 31 October 2008

Abstract - Porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) is an economically important pathogen. It has been demonstrated that PCV2 DNA can be detected in boar semen by PCR; however, the biological relevance of this is unknown. The objectives of this study were to determine if semen positive for PCV2 DNA is infectious (1) in a swine bioassay, or (2) when used for artificial insemination. For the first objective, 4-week-old pigs were inoculated intraperitoneally with PCV2 DNA-negative (bioassay-control; n = 3), PCV2a DNA-positive (bioassay-PCV2a; n = 3), or PCV2b DNA-positive (bioassay-PCV2b; n = 3) raw semen, or PCV2 live virus (bioassay-positive; n = 3), respectively. Pigs inoculated with PCV2 DNA-positive semen and PCV2 live virus became viremic and developed anti-PCV2 antibodies indicating that the PCV2 DNA present in semen was infectious. For the second objective, three Landrace gilts were inseminated with PCV2 DNA-negative semen (gilts-controls) from experimentally-infected boars, and six gilts were artificially inseminated with semen positive for PCV2a DNA (gilts-PCV2a; n = 3) or PCV2b DNA (gilts-PCV2b; n = 3). Serum samples collected from the gilts in all groups remained negative for anti-PCV2 antibodies for the duration of the experiment. In addition, fetal serum samples from all 105-day-gestation fetuses were negative for anti-PCV2 antibodies or PCV2 DNA. Under the conditions of this study, PCV2 DNA-positive semen was not infectious when used to artificially inseminate gilts; however, it was demonstrated to be infectious in a swine bioassay model and therefore is a potential means of PCV2 transmission amongst swine herds.

Key words: artificial insemination / bioassay / boar / PCV2 / semen

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© INRA, EDP Sciences 2008