Epidemiological investigations of the introduction of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus in Chile, 2013-2015

Publication Type:
Journal Article
PLoS ONE, 2017, 12 (7)
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© 2017 Neira et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) is endemic in most pork producing countries. In Chile, eradication of PRRS virus (PRRSV) was successfully achieved in 2009 as a result of the combined efforts of producers and the animal health authorities. In October 2013, after several years without detecting PRRSV under surveillance activities, suspected cases were confirmed on a commercial swine farm. Here, we describe the PRRS epidemic in Chile between October 2013 and April 2015, and we studied the origins and spread of PRRSV throughout the country using official surveillance data and Bayesian phylogenetic analysis. Our results indicate that the outbreaks were caused by a PRRSV closely related to viruses present in swine farms in North America, and different from the strain that circulated in the country before 2009. Using divergence time estimation analysis, we found that the 2013–2015 PRRSV may have been circulating in Chile for at least one month before the first detection. A single strain of PRRSV spread into a limited number of commercial and backyard swine farms. New infections in commercial systems have not been reported since October 2014, and eradication is underway by clearing the disease from the few commercial and backyard farms that remain positive. This is one of the few documented experiences of PRRSV introduction into a disease-free country.
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