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Decoding PRRS Virus Evolution in Piglets
Minnesota Ag Connection - 09/15/2023

In a collaborative effort, the MSHMP team, along with VanderWaal and Schroeder’s labs, recently dove deep into the PRRS virus. The study's main goal was to understand how diverse the PRRS genomes can be during an outbreak, especially in young pigs.

To achieve this, a large farm with 2,500 piglets experienced a PRRS outbreak. A particular strain of PRRS was introduced into these piglets, and 127 of them were studied at different ages. The technique used for testing was RT-PCR and whole-genome sequencing.

The findings were insightful:

• At ages 3-5 days, all the sampled piglets tested positive for the virus.

• Female piglets showed different results from males at this age.

• Tragically, more than half of the piglets did not make it to 17-19 days of age.

• The piglets who survived till 17-19 days showed varying results in their genomes.

The research found certain regions in the genomes with increased variations. This information is vital as it helps understand how viruses like PRRS evolve over time within hosts.

To dive deeper, there's an open access full article available online.

It gives a detailed view of the virus's whole-genome diversity and its changes. Knowing this can open the way for better understanding and potential control of such outbreaks in the future.

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