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Rotavirus excretion by village pigs in Papua New Guinea

Alpers, D., Sanders, R.C. and Hampson, D.J. (1991) Rotavirus excretion by village pigs in Papua New Guinea. Australian Veterinary Journal, 68 (2). pp. 65-67.

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Cohort studies were conducted on 29 pigs from 3 villages in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea. Animals ranged in age from 9 d to 5 m old. Three hundred and twenty nine faecal samples were collected from individual pigs followed over 3 to 6 w periods, and were examined for group A rotavirus antigen by ELISA, and rotaviral genomic RNA by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE). Electron microscopy was also conducted on selected samples.

Group A rotavirus was detected in the faeces of 16 pigs with infected individuals coming from all villages. Non-group A rotavirus resembling group C was found in faeces from pigs from 2 villages. All of the group A rotaviruses examined had the same electrophoretype and this was distinct from that of the common type infecting humans in the area at the time of the study. None of the group A positive samples reacted with monoclonal antisera specific for human group A rotaviruses of serotypes 1, 2, 3, 4 or 8. The non-group A rotaviruses also all had identical electrophoretypes.

In contrast to previous findings in intensive piggeries, rotavirus infection did not occur in all young pigs and was not limited to young animals under 2 m of age. Infected pigs varied in age from 12 days to 20 weeks of age. This pattern of infection was attributed to the non-intensive husbandry situations in the villages, with less opportunity for transmission to occur than in intensive piggeries.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary Studies
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
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