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Porcine Teschovirus Polioencephalomyelitis in Western Canada

Salles, Mônica W. S., Scholes, Sandra F. E., Dauber, Malte, Strebelow, Günter, Wojnarowicz, Chris, Hassard, Lori, Acton, Andy C., Bollinger, Trent K.
Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus, Coronavirinae, brain stem, neutralization tests, encephalitis, necropsy, livestock and meat industry, Suid alphaherpesvirus 1, immunohistochemistry, Circovirus, farms, paralysis, paresis, spinal cord, Porcine teschovirus, fluorescent antibody technique, swine, weight gain, Rabies lyssavirus, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, Canada
Beginning in 2002, a small number of pig farms in western Canada began reporting 4–7-week-old pigs with bilateral hind-end paresis or paralysis. Low numbers of pigs were affected, some died, most had to be euthanized, and those that survived had reduced weight gains and neurological deficits. Necropsies revealed no gross lesions, but microscopic lesions consisted of a nonsuppurative polioencephalomyelitis, most severe in the brain stem and spinal cord. The lesions were most consistent with a viral infection. Tests for circovirus, Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus, coronavirus, Rabies virus, and Pseudorabies virus were negative. Using immunohistochemistry, virus neutralization, fluorescent antibody test, and nested reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, Porcine teschovirus was identified in tissues from affected individuals. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first report of teschovirus encephalitis in western Canada and the first reported case of polioencephalomyelitis in pigs in Canada, where teschovirus was confirmed as the cause.