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Seroprevalences of Newly Discovered Porcine Pestiviruses in German Pig Farms

Several novel porcine pestiviruses that are linked to disease outbreaks in commercial pig farms were discovered during recent years. Bungowannah pestivirus (BuPV; new species Pestivirus F) causes sudden death in young pigs, but has only ever been isolated in the Australian region Bungowannah. Atypical porcine pestivirus (APPV; new species Pestivirus K) on the other hand has been found in multiple countries worldwide and is potentially linked to congenital tremor, a disease that causes considerable production problems in pig farms. To assess the seroprevalences of both viruses in German commercial farms during the years 2009/10 and 2018, two approaches were selected. Antibodies against Pestivirus F were detected by a traditional in-house indirect immunofluorescence test against the culture-grown virus isolate, while for the detection of Pestivirus K-specific antibodies, a newly developed test system utilizing a chimeric construct of bovine viral diarrhea virus 1 (BVDV1; species Pestivirus A) containing the E1 and E2 encoding sequences of APPV was established. A total of 1115 samples originating from 122 farms located in seven German federal states were investigated. Antibodies against Bungowannah virus could not be detected, confirming the absence of this virus in other regions than the initially affected Australian pig farm complex. In contrast, antibodies against APPV were highly prevalent throughout Germany at both investigated time points. The seroprevalence at the state level fluctuated to some degree, but the overall percentage remained stable, as is to be expected for an endemic pestivirus lacking any form of control measures.



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