Mechanisms of transmission of Aujeszky's disease virus originating from feral swine in the USA

Vet Microbiol. 1997 Apr;55(1-4):123-30. doi: 10.1016/s0378-1135(96)01309-0.


To understand the possible mechanisms of transmission of Aujeszky's disease virus (pseudorabies or PRV) from a feral pig reservoir, intranasal infections were initiated in domestic pigs and in pigs from a herd derived from captured feral pigs. Virus strains originating from feral pigs and from domestic pigs were compared. Similar shedding patterns were obtained in both feral-derived and domestic pigs, however, virus strains from feral pigs were markedly attenuated. Virus could be isolated after acute infection from nasal secretions, tonsils and occasionally from genital organs. In studies of transmission of PRV by cannibalism, either latently infected or acutely infected tissue was fed to both domestic and feral-derived pigs. In two similar experiments, latently infected tissue did not transmit virus, but tissues from acutely infected pigs did transmit infection. Cannibalism was observed typically in both types of pigs older than 6 weeks of age. It was concluded that transmission of PRV originating from feral pigs can occur by several mechanisms including the respiratory route and by cannibalism of pigs that die of acute infection. Transmission of PRV from feral swine may, however, result in sub-clinical infection.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Domestic*
  • Animals, Wild*
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood
  • Cannibalism
  • Dogs
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Herpesvirus 1, Suid / immunology
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical / prevention & control
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical / veterinary
  • Pseudorabies / transmission*
  • Swine
  • United States
  • Viral Envelope Proteins / immunology
  • Virus Shedding


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Viral Envelope Proteins