First demonstration of the circulation of a pneumovirus in French pigs by detection of anti-swine orthopneumovirus nucleoprotein antibodies

Vet Res. 2018 Dec 5;49(1):118. doi: 10.1186/s13567-018-0615-x.


The presence of pneumoviruses in pigs is poorly documented. In this study, we used the published sequence of the nucleoprotein (N) of the recently identified Swine Orthopneumovirus (SOV) to express and purify SOV N as a recombinant protein in Escherichia coli. This protein was purified as nanorings and used to set up an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, which was used to analyse the presence of anti-pneumovirus N antibodies in swine sera. Sera collected from different pig farms in the West of France and from specific pathogen free piglets before colostrum uptake showed indirectly that a pneumovirus is circulating in pig populations with some variations between animals. Piglets before colostrum uptake were sero-negative for anti-pneumovirus antibodies while most of the other pigs showed positivity. Interestingly, in two farms presenting respiratory clinical signs and negative or under control for some common respiratory pathogens, pigs were detected positive for anti-pneumovirus antibodies. Globally, anti-pneumovirus N antibody concentrations were variable between and within farms. Further studies will aim to isolate the circulating virus and determine its potential pathogenicity. SOV could potentially become a new member of the porcine respiratory complex, important on its own or in association with other viral and bacterial micro-organisms.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood*
  • Colostrum
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay / veterinary
  • Escherichia coli / genetics
  • France
  • Nucleocapsid Proteins / blood*
  • Pneumovirus / isolation & purification*
  • Pneumovirus Infections / immunology
  • Pneumovirus Infections / veterinary*
  • Pneumovirus Infections / virology
  • Recombinant Proteins / analysis
  • Sequence Analysis, RNA / veterinary
  • Specific Pathogen-Free Organisms
  • Swine
  • Swine Diseases / immunology
  • Swine Diseases / virology*


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Nucleocapsid Proteins
  • Recombinant Proteins