Further assessment of houseflies (Musca domestica) as vectors for the mechanical transport and transmission of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus under field conditions

Andrea Pitkin, John Deen, Satoshi Otake, Roger Moon, Scott Dee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the potential for houseflies (Musca domestica) to mechanically transport and transmit porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) between pig populations under controlled field conditions. The study employed swine housed in commercial livestock facilities and a release-recapture protocol involving marked (ochre-eyed) houseflies. To assess whether transport of PRRSV by insects occurred, ochre-eyed houseflies were released and collected from a facility housing an experimentally PRRSV-inoculated population of pigs (facility A) and collected from a neighboring facility located 120 m to the northwest that housed a naïve pig population (facility B). All samples were tested for PRRSV RNA by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). To assess transmission between the 2 populations, blood samples were collected from naïve pigs in facility B at designated intervals and tested by PCR. A total of 7 replicates were conducted. During 2 of 7 replicates (1 and 5), PCR-positive ochre-eyed houseflies were recovered in facility B and pigs in this facility became infected with PRRSV. Chi-squared analysis indicated that the presence of PRRSV in an insect sample was significantly (P = 0.0004) associated with infection of facility B pigs. Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus was not recovered from other reported routes of transmission during the study period, including air, fomites, and personnel. In conclusion, while an insufficient number of replicates were conducted to predict the frequency of the event, houseflies may pose some level of risk for the transport and transmission of PRRSV between pig populations under field conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-96
Number of pages6
JournalCanadian Journal of Veterinary Research
Volume73
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2009

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