Development of a novel real-time RT-PCR assay to detect Seneca Valley virus associated with emerging cases of vesicular disease in pigs

Seneca Valley virus (SVV) can cause vesicular disease that is clinically indistinguishable from foot-and-mouth disease, vesicular stomatitis and swine vesicular disease. SVV-associated disease has been identified in pigs in several countries, namely USA, Canada, Brazil and China. Diagnostic tests are required to reliably detect this emerging virus, and this report describes the development and evaluation of a novel real-time reverse-transcription (RT) PCR assay (rRT-PCR), targeting the viral polymerase gene (3D) of SVV. This new assay detected all historical and contemporary SVV-1 isolates examined (n = 8), while no cross-reactivity was observed with nucleic acid template prepared from other vesicular disease viruses or common swine pathogens. The analytical sensitivity of the rRT-PCR was 0.79 TCID50/ml and the limit of detect was equivalent using two different RT-PCR master-mixes. The performance of the test was further evaluated using pig nasal (n = 25) and rectal swab samples (n = 25), where concordant results compared to virus sequencing were generated for 43/50 samples. The availability of this assay, will enable laboratories to rapidly detect SVV in cases of vesicular disease in pigs, negated for notifiable diseases, and could enable existing knowledge gaps to be investigated surrounding the natural epidemiology of SVV.

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