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Here, a screening of sera from apparently healthy adult pigs demonstrated the existence of APPV in Germany with an estimated individual prevalence of 2. Additionally, APPV genomes were detected in newborn piglets affected by congenital tremor CT , but genomes were absent in unaffected piglets. High loads of genomes were identified in glandular epithelial cells, follicular centers of lymphoid organs, the inner granular cell layer of the cerebellum, as well as in the trigeminal and spinal ganglia.
Retrospective analysis of cerebellum samples from demonstrated that APPV can be found in piglets with CT of unsolved aetiology. APPV sequences derived from different regions in Germany demonstrated to be highly variable. Taken together, the results of this study strongly suggest that the presence of APPV genomes in newborn piglets correlates with CT, while no association with clinical disease could be observed in viremic adult pigs.
Pestiviruses are enveloped highly variable RNA viruses with a genome of about Until recent discovery of very distantly related pestivirus sequences in bats and rats, it was commonly accepted that pestivirus infections are limited to ungulate hosts 2 , 3. Infections with the classical pestivirus species are worldwide of utmost socioeconomic relevance. Besides dramatic clinical signs and high mortality rates particularly observed in acute infections with highly virulent CSFV strains, fetopathogenicity is a common feature of intrauterine pestivirus infections and has significant consequences for productivity of animal breeding 5.
So far, the clinical relevance of APPV infections remained elusive. In this study, we report the detection of APPV genomes in serum of apparently healthy pigs from two different Federal states in Germany.