Astrovirus discovered in swine colon
A Universidad Nacional de Colombia (UNal) researcher used piglets to test an experimental model to determine the organs impacted and symptoms associated with this virus that infects mammals and birds.Bogotá D. C., 29 de agosto de 2016 — Agencia de Noticias UN-
The strain known as AstV/PUJP5 is part of viral agents which mainly produced diarrhea and symptoms such as fever, vomiting, abdominal pain and headache.
Among the goals of the research project carried out by UNal Biochemist M.Sc. Adriana Milena Olarte Aponte was to verify the pathogenicity of a strain of swine astrovirus discovered in Colombian swine in 2010.
This is the first time in the world a method is designed to inoculate a previously cell-culture adapted strain in swine.
“This PoAstV/PUJP5 astrovirus also impacts the jejunum and the duodenum and also for the first time this virus was discovered in swine colon,” said Olarte.
To learn if the virus maintained the same infectious potential in swine, introduced artificially, they used 8 piglets from a Colombian Agricultural and Livestock Institute certified farm. The animals were divided into an experimental (inoculated) and a control (non-inoculated) group.
Changes were verified with daily weight assessments, body temperature measurements, and blood and feces samples. On the third day the feces had a softer consistency with respect to the control group and although there were some cases of depression they did not show very aggressive symptoms.
Later they took tissue samples of both groups and they were analyzed at the laboratories of the Universidad Javeriana. They had molecular biology analysis to verify if the genome of the virus was present in the blood and feces samples.
“In the analysis we discovered the virus in the feces, which suggested there was replication and it had lodged in the gastrointestinal system,” said Olarte.
To confirm in what part of the system the virus was, they took tissue samples of several organs. Therefore they discovered the virus in the apical part of intestinal villus, exactly in mature enterocytes.
This is valuable information for veterinarians to treat this type of disease on conventional piglets without any type of genetic modifications; therefore the results reflect situations which may occur in real environments.
Pigs and humans are genetically and physiologically similar; therefore the research project could also provide insight when children are infected by astrovirus.
“This could be a potential model to observe what happens in swine and extrapolate the results to human beings. We observed very interesting behaviors but we still need more research in order to apply the results,” said Olarte.(Por: Fin/VC/MLA/APBL