Torque teno virus (TTV) is a single-stranded DNA virus that has been detected in serum of primate and non-primate species including swine. Little information on swine TTV infection and transmission dynamics is nowadays available. The goal of this study was to gain insight into the potential role of the sow in transmitting TTV to piglets and the infection dynamics of both swine TTV genogroups (TTV1 and TTV2) during the lactation period. Serum samples from 44 sows at 1-week post-farrowing and 215 piglets at 1 and 3 weeks of age were tested using TTV1 and TTV2 PCR methods. Sow parity distribution and the number of delivered piglets (liveborn, stillborn and mummified) per each studied sow were recorded. TTV1 was detected in higher percentages than TTV2 in both sows (75% vs. 43%, respectively) and piglets at 1 (17% vs. 7%, respectively) and 3 (32% vs. 12%, respectively) weeks of age. TTV1 and TTV2 co-infections were observed in higher percentages in sows (34%) than in piglets (2% and 4% at 1 and 3 weeks of age, respectively). Detection of swine TTV genogroups in sows was not associated with their detection in piglets. Moreover, there were piglets infected at 1 week of age with a swine TTV genogroup different from the one detected in their dam. The number of sows delivering stillborns and the mean number of stillborns per sow tended to be higher in the TTV2 infected sows; this value was significantly higher when co-infected sows (TTV1 and TTV2) were compared with non-co-infected ones. Old parity sows had a higher percentage of TTV1 infected 1-week-old piglets. Results of the present study showed that the TTV infection occurs early in the production system and that these viruses may be transmitted from sow-to-piglet but also from piglet-to-piglet in farrowing facilities. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
- Lactation period
- Torque teno virus (TTV)