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Author(s): Daniel Verreault, Valérie Létourneau, Louis Gendron, Daniel Massé, Carl A. Gagnon and Caroline Duchaine
Publication Date: July 30, 2010
Reference: Veterinary Microbiology Volume 141, Issues 3-4, 24 March 2010, Pages 224-230
Country: Canada


Porcine circovirus type 2 has been linked to many diseases, such as postweaning multisystemic wasting syndrome and can be found in most commercial swine confinement buildings around the world. Although the exact role of the virus in the appearance of disease in animals is not fully understood, the mechanisms responsible for the transmission of the virus are currently believed to happen mostly by contact. Nevertheless, the possibility of airborne transmission cannot be rejected. This study investigated the presence of the virus, total bacteria and total dusts in aerosols. Air samples were taken with gelatin filters in swine confinement buildings and were analyzed by quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Interestingly, concentrations of airborne PCV2 of up to 107 genomes per cubic meter of air were detected. Airborne dust concentrations were correlated to airborne concentrations of PCV2 and total bacteria. Although the infectivity potential of the airborne viral loads were not evaluated, it is clear that the virus can become airborne in detectable concentrations in commercial swine confinement building environments. The significance of this finding in an epidemiological point of view will need further investigation.

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