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CSF Facts



CSFV is able to pass across the placenta of pregnant animals, and infect fetuses, whereas in the sows the disease is often subclinical.

The outcome of transplacental infection of fetuses largely depends on the time of gestation and virus virulence. Infection during early pregnancy may result in abortions and stillbirths, mummification and malformations. All this leads to a reduction of the fertility index in the holding.

Infection of sows at up to 90 days of pregnancy can lead to the birth of persistently viraemic piglets, which may be clinically normal at birth and survive for several months. After birth they may show poor growth, wasting or occasionally congenital tremor. This course of infection is referred to as "late onset CSF". These piglets may play a crucial role in spreading the disease and in the maintenance of virus persistence within a population as they constantly shed virus until death.

Detection of CSF may be particularly difficult in breeding pig holdings, as the course of the infection may be very mild and confused with many other pathological conditions. Reduced fertility and abortions can be caused by CSF virus as well as parvovirus infection, PRRS, Leptospirosis, and Aujeszky’s disease. Material aborted due to CSF infection cannot be distinguished grossly from abortions due to other diseases.

In case of an infectious disease of the reproductive tract, investigation for CSF must be immediately carried out in case that the holding in question can be considered at risk for CSF (e.g. due to location of the holding in an area where CSF occurs in feral pigs) and in any case at least as soon as more common infectious diseases of the reproductive tract have been excluded.