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Steve Dunkley

Head of Knowledge Exchange (Interim)

AHDB Pork KE

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Evaluation of a PCR assay for PRRS virus in saliva

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Research partners: Veterinary Laboratory Agency, University of Newcastle

Sponsors: AHDB Pork

Duration: 2009 

Aims and objectives

To investigate the potential of porcine oral fluid samples as a means of diagnosing and monitoring infection with PRRSv in UK pigs. 

The project aimed to address the following aspects of oral fluid diagnostics in UK pigs:

  • Optimal methods of rope presentation, sample collection and handling
  • Some assessment of pig responses to the rope; factors affecting interactions with the rope, some idea of the proportion of pigs contributing to the sample
  • Optimisation of the technique for PRRSv RNA detection
  • Identification of problems encountered, to inform further research in this field. 

Findings to date

It has been shown that oral fluid sampling can, under some circumstances, be used to determine the PRRSv status of a pen of pigs. However, sensitivity remains poor to moderate even on farms where the technique has been shown to work. 

Further information

Final report