Two-day-old piglets with moderate–severe congenital tremor (CT) from a Spanish farm were received for diagnostic purposes. Sera, nasal and rectal swabs and tissue samples were collected. qRT-PCR was performed in these samples, and a retrospective study to detect APPV RNA was carried out using a serum collection from 1997 to 2016. APPV genome was identified with high and moderate RNA loads in different tissues of the CT affected pigs. High APPV RNA load was detected in lymphoid organs, suggesting that these constitute a target for APPV replication. In 89 of the 642 retrospectively analysed samples (13.9%), APPV genome was detected. CT cases were related to the presence of APPV in viraemic piglets below 1 week of age, in which the viral RNA load was the highest. A considerable number of animals between 4 and 14 weeks of age and some 1-week-old piglets were viraemic in the absence of CT, which can act as carriers of the virus. The relative risk of APPV and CT was 8.5 (CI 95% 5.8–12.5).
Thus, our data show that APPV infection is epidemiologically related to CT. Phylogenetic analysis from 1615 NS2-3 nucleotides showed only one defined APPV clade, grouping the most phylogenetically related strains from Europe and China. Of this clade, there are other strains from Europe, USA and China. This data confirm the high APPV genetic diversity, not being able to cluster this virus according to the geographic area.
Our result showed that APPV has been circulating in Spain at least since 1997, being the earliest date of detection of this virus worldwide and suggesting that APPV may be widespread.
Muñoz-González S, Canturri A, Pérez-Simó M, et al. First report of the novel atypical porcine pestivirus in Spain and a retrospective study. Transbound Emerg Dis. 2017;64:1645–1649. https://doi.org/10.1111/tbed.12699