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      Pathogenesis and prevention of placental and transplacental porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus infection

      , 1 , 1

      Veterinary Research

      BioMed Central

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          Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV)-induced reproductive problems are characterized by embryonic death, late-term abortions, early farrowing and increase in number of dead and mummified fetuses, and weak-born piglets. The virus recovery from fetal tissues illustrates transplacental infection, but despite many studies on the subject, the means by which PRRSV spreads from mother to fetus and the exact pathophysiological basis of the virus-induced reproductive failure remain unexplained. Recent findings from our group indicate that the endometrium and placenta are involved in the PRRSV passage from mother to fetus and that virus replication in the endometrial/placental tissues can be the actual reason for fetal death. The main purpose of this review is to clarify the role that PRRSV replication and PRRSV-induced changes in the endometrium/placenta play in the pathogenesis of PRRSV-induced reproductive failure in pregnant sows. In addition, strategies to control placental and transplacental PRRSV infection are discussed.

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          Most cited references 91

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          Traffic signals for lymphocyte recirculation and leukocyte emigration: the multistep paradigm.

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            Developmental plasticity and human health.

            Many plants and animals are capable of developing in a variety of ways, forming characteristics that are well adapted to the environments in which they are likely to live. In adverse circumstances, for example, small size and slow metabolism can facilitate survival, whereas larger size and more rapid metabolism have advantages for reproductive success when resources are more abundant. Often these characteristics are induced in early life or are even set by cues to which their parents or grandparents were exposed. Individuals developmentally adapted to one environment may, however, be at risk when exposed to another when they are older. The biological evidence may be relevant to the understanding of human development and susceptibility to disease. As the nutritional state of many human mothers has improved around the world, the characteristics of their offspring--such as body size and metabolism--have also changed. Responsiveness to their mothers' condition before birth may generally prepare individuals so that they are best suited to the environment forecast by cues available in early life. Paradoxically, however, rapid improvements in nutrition and other environmental conditions may have damaging effects on the health of those people whose parents and grandparents lived in impoverished conditions. A fuller understanding of patterns of human plasticity in response to early nutrition and other environmental factors will have implications for the administration of public health.
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              Mystery swine disease in The Netherlands: the isolation of Lelystad virus.

              In early 1991, the Dutch pig-industry was struck by the so-called mystery swine disease. Large-scale laboratory investigations were undertaken to search for the etiological agent. We focused on isolating viruses and mycoplasmas, and we tested paired sera of affected sows for antibodies against ten known pig viruses. The mycoplasmas M. hyosynoviae, M. hyopneumoniae, and Acholeplasma laidlawii, and the viruses encephalomyocarditis virus and porcine enterovirus types 2 and 7 were isolated from individual pigs. An unknown agent, however, was isolated from 16 of 20 piglets and from 41 of 63 sows. This agent was characterised as a virus and designated Lelystad virus. No relationship between this virus and other viruses has yet been established. Of 165 sows reportedly afflicted by the disease, 123 (75 per cent) seroconverted to Lelystad virus, whereas less than 10 per cent seroconverted to any of the other virus isolates or to the known viral pathogens. Antibodies directed against Lelystad virus were also found in pigs with mystery swine disease in England, Germany, and in the United States. We conclude that infection with Lelystad virus is the likely cause of mystery swine disease.

                Author and article information

                Vet Res
                Vet. Res
                Veterinary Research
                BioMed Central
                7 October 2013
                : 44
                : 1
                : 95
                [1 ]Laboratory of Virology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Salisburylaan 133, 9820, Merelbeke, Belgium
                Copyright © 2013 Karniychuk and Nauwynck; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


                Veterinary medicine


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