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Characterization of age-related susceptibility of macrophages to porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus

Gray, Diem K., Dvorak, Cheryl M.T., Robinson, Sally R., Murtaugh, Michael P.
Virus research 2019 v.263 pp. 139-144
Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus, adults, antibodies, disease prevention, disease susceptibility, hosts, lungs, macrophages, porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome, receptors, swine, swine production
Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus (PRRSV) is the most economically important disease affecting swine production worldwide. The severity and susceptibility of PRRSV infection varies with age. Nursery pigs have been shown to be more susceptible to PRRSV infection and a more severe and prolonged infection is observed as compared to growing or adult pigs. However, antibody responses to PRRSV are observed independent of age. Swine are the only known hosts of PRRSV, infection is restricted to cells of monocytic lineage, and fully differentiated porcine alveolar macrophages are the primary target of natural infection. Pulmonary intravascular macrophages from young pigs have been shown to be more susceptible to infection than those from adult pigs. A better understanding of why young pigs and macrophages from young pigs are more susceptible to PRRSV infection is critical to identify mechanisms of infection that can be explored for enhanced treatment or prevention of disease. This study examined PRRSV susceptibility of porcine alveolar macrophages isolated from the lungs of pigs of different age groups, and the presence of cell surface receptors to determine if differences correlated with infection level. The younger the pigs were, the more susceptible the macrophage were to PRRSV infection, but no differences in cellular receptor expression were observed between pigs of different ages. Resistance to infection is likely related to intracellular innate immune mechanisms rather than receptor-mediated entry.