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Aujeszky's disease virus infection patterns in European wild boar

Ruiz-Fons, F., Vidal, D., Hofle, U., Vicente, J., Gortazar, C.
Veterinary microbiology 2007 v.120 no.3-4 pp. 241-250
Suid herpesvirus 1, Aujeszky disease, seroprevalence, epidemiological studies, wild boars, disease detection, antibody detection, polymerase chain reaction, latent period, virus replication, DNA viruses, Spain
Evidence of exposure (i.e. seroprevalence) to Aujeszky's disease virus (ADV) is high among wild boars from south-central Spain. This research aims to determine the presence of ADV by molecular detection, and to describe the patterns of ADV infection in wild boars. Tonsils (TN) and trigeminal ganglia (TG) for ADV molecular detection, and sera were collected from wild boars (n = 192) in 39 hunting estates from south-central Spain (2004/2005). A nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for a fragment of the ADV surface glycoprotein B was performed on collected tissues. Individual status of presence of viral DNA was tested against explanatory variables by means of a Generalized Linear Mixed Model (GLIMMIX) analysis. Viral detection prevalence was 30.6 ± 6.7%. Although there was an increasing pattern with age and females presented higher prevalences, no statistically significant influence of sex and age was found for viral presence. Molecular testing in TN and TG allowed classifying infection status into (i) ADV negative (in both TN and TG), (ii) only positive in TN, (iii) only positive in TG and (iv) positive in both TN and TG. ADV DNA was statistically more frequently evidenced in TN in females than in males. With the exception of one individual, all wild boars with presence of ADV DNA in TN and TG or only in TG reacted positive in the ELISA. In contrast, animals with only ADV DNA in TN serorreacted positively and negatively. Interestingly, 45% of the PCR positive wild boars (n = 59) were seronegative in the serological test, all of them with viral DNA only in TN. Our results provide evidence for latency of ADV in wild boars and stress the fact that antibody detection based tests may fail to detect a proportion of recently infected animals. This is of great concern since current management schemes in our study promote animal translocation for hunting purposes, with the associated risk of under-detecting ADV infected individuals when using serology to screen for ADV infection.