Invasive Species Compendium

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Porcine lymphotropic herpesvirus (Gammaherpesvirinae) DNA in free-living wild boars (Sus scrofa Linnaeus, 1758) in Brazil.

Abstract

Background: Suid gammaherpesvirus 3, 4, and 5 (porcine lymphotropic herpesvirus - PLHV-1, -2, and -3) are viruses that infect domestic and feral pigs. ObjectivesThis study examined the presence of PLHV DNA in biological samples from free-living wild boars circulating in a Brazilian geographical region with a high density of commercial domestic pigs. Methods: Lung samples of 50 free-living wild boars were collected by exotic wildlife controller agents between 2017 and 2019 in the state of Paraná, southern Brazil. Lung and spleen fragments were obtained from six fetuses collected by hysterectomy post mortem from a pregnant sow. A polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay using consensus primers (pan-herpesviruses) was performed to detect PLHV DNA. The samples showing positive results for PLHV DNA were submitted to single-round PCR assays with the specific primers for identifying PLHV-1 (213-S/215-As), PLHV-2 (208-S/212-As), and PLHV-3 (886s/886As). The specificity of the species-specific PCR products was assessed by nucleotide sequencing of the amplicons. Results: Forty-eight (96%) of the 50 lung samples analyzed were positive for PLHV by PCR using pan-herpesvirus primers. In 33 (68.75%) of the positive samples, at least two PLHV species were identified simultaneously. The DNA of PLHV-1, -2, and -3 was found in free-living wild boars of all ages, but not in the fetuses, even though they were from a sow that tested positive for all three viruses. Conclusion: These viruses are endemic to the population of feral pigs in the Brazilian region evaluated, as well as in domesticated pigs.