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Kobuvirus shedding dynamics in a swine production system and their association with diarrhea

Nantel-Fortier, Nicolas, Lachapelle, Virginie, Letellier, Ann, L’Homme, Yvan, Brassard, Julie
Veterinary microbiology 2019 v.235 pp. 319-326
Aichivirus C, diarrhea, fattening farms, finishing, herds, piglets, production technology, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, swine production, viruses, weaning, Canada
Porcine kobuviruses are widely distributed in swine, but the clinical significance of these viruses remains unclear, since they have been associated with both diarrheic and healthy pigs. In addition, there is a paucity of data on Kobuvirus prevalence in Canadian pig herds. In this study, a total of 181 diarrheic and healthy piglets were monitored and sampled on four occasions, intended to represent the different stages of production. The piglets were sampled at the nursing farms (birth to weaning stage), at the nursery farms (post-weaning stage), and at finishing farms (at the beginning and the end of the fattening stage). Fecal and environmental samples were collected during each life stage. Following viral extraction, Kobuvirus detection by RT-PCR was conducted, and positive samples were sequenced. During the late-nursing stage (6–21 days old), piglets with diarrhea shed more Kobuvirus than healthy individuals. Piglets shed more Kobuvirus during the post-weaning stage (nursery farms) than during any of the other life stages. This was evidenced in individual samples as well as in environmental samples. Over 97% of the sampled piglets shed Kobuvirus at least once in their lifetime. All piglets shedding a Kobuvirus strain or mix of strains at the nursing stage did not appear to shed another porcine kobuvirus strain at a later life stage. Overall, our findings throw light on Kobuvirus shedding dynamics and their potential role in neonatal diarrhea at the nursing stage, which appears to be the point of entry for kobuviruses into swine production systems.