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Detection and localization of atypical porcine pestivirus in the testicles of naturally infected, CT-affected piglets
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  • Lilla Dénes,
  • Inés Ruedas-Torres,
  • Anna Szilasi,
  • Gyula Balka
Lilla Dénes
Department of Pathology University of Veterinary Medicine 1078 Budapest István Str 2 Hungary
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Inés Ruedas-Torres
Universidad de Cordoba
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Anna Szilasi
Department of Pathology University of Veterinary Medicine 1078 Budapest István Str 2 Hungary
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Gyula Balka
Department of Pathology University of Veterinary Medicine 1078 Budapest István Str 2 Hungary
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Abstract

Atypical porcine pestivirus (APPV) belongs to the genus Pestivirus within the family Flaviviridae. Recently, APPV has been identified as the causative agent of congenital tremor (CT) type AII. The disease is a neurological disorder that affects newborn piglets and is characterized by mostly generalized trembling of the animals and often splay legs. CT is well known worldwide, and the virus seems to be highly prevalent in major swine producing areas. However, little is known about the epidemiology of the infection, the transmission and spread of the virus between herds. Here, we show the high prevalence of APPV in processing fluid samples collected from Hungarian pig herds which led us to investigate the cellular targets of the virus in the testicles of newborn piglets affected by CT. By the development of an RNA in situ hybridization assay and the use of immunohistochemistry on consecutive slides, we identified the target cells of APPV in the testicle: interstitial Leydig cells, peritubular myoid cells and endothelial cells of medium-sized arteries. Previous studies have shown that APPV can be found in the semen of sexually mature boars suggesting the role of infected boars and their semen in the transmission of the virus similar to many other members of the Flaviviridae family. As in our case, the virus has not been identified in cells beyond the blood-testis barrier, further studies on infected adult boars’ testicles are needed to analyze the possible changes in the cell tropism that enable the virus to be excreted by the semen.

Peer review status:ACCEPTED

22 Jul 2021Submitted to Transboundary and Emerging Diseases
22 Jul 2021Submission Checks Completed
22 Jul 2021Assigned to Editor
25 Jul 2021Reviewer(s) Assigned
06 Aug 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
13 Aug 2021Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
14 Sep 20211st Revision Received
14 Sep 2021Submission Checks Completed
14 Sep 2021Assigned to Editor
15 Sep 2021Reviewer(s) Assigned
28 Sep 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
28 Sep 2021Editorial Decision: Accept