Aujeszky’s Disease

Morbus Aujeszky; Pseudowut; Pseudorabies, infektiöse Bulbärparalyse, Juckseuche, mad itch

Downloads Services Publications
Changed on: 22.01.2019
Icon

Aujeszky’s Disease is caused by Suid Herpesvirus 1 (SuHV1), also called the pseudo rabies virus, a member of the Alphaherpesvirinae sub-family and of the Varicellovirus genus. The disease was described by Hungarian veterinarian Aladar Aujeszky in 1902 for the first time and can be found around the globe. Austria’s domestic pig livestock is officially SuHV1 free.

The virulence of the virus strains fluctuates, but the different types show uniform behaviour from a serological perspective. Less virulent strains are strictly neurotropic and cause no further organ damage, as opposed to the more virulent strains.

More information

Aujeszky’s Disease is caused by Suid Herpesvirus 1 (SuHV1), also called the pseudo rabies virus, a member of the Alphaherpesvirinae sub-family and of the Varicellovirus genus. The disease was described by Hungarian veterinarian Aladar Aujeszky in 1902 for the first time and can be found around the globe. Austria’s domestic pig livestock is officially SuHV1 free.

The virulence of the virus strains fluctuates, but the different types show uniform behaviour from a serological perspective. Less virulent strains are strictly neurotropic and cause no further organ damage, as opposed to the more virulent strains.

More information

Transmission

The agent is mainly transmitted via latently infected pigs (weak or no clinical symptoms) to healthy pigs in domestic pig livestock. However, it could also be transmitted by hand contact during animal care, via feed and/or in close quarters, as well as via air movements (airborne) in heavily infected livestock. The infection spreads quickly in regions with a high-level of pig farming. 

Other sources of infection:

  • nasal discharge (virus discharge 2-4 weeks after primary infection of the pig, rarely up to 6 months)
  • milk and sperm

Pregnant sows spread the virus via: 

  • aborted foetuses 
  • placentas 
  • vaginal discharges

Susceptible are not the only animals that may become carriers, but vaccinated animals may carry the virus, too. As a result, vaccinations to prevent this disease are prohibited in Austria. The virus retreats to the trigeminal ganglia and the tonsils following an infection and can be identified there for more than a year. Stress such as animal transportation and similar situations, could lead to a repeated discharge of the virus.

Latently infected wild boars, as well as latently infected domestic pigs, can also be carriers. The transmission does not depend on the seasons.

The most common source of infection for carnivores is the intake of meat and offal from infected (also latently infected) pigs and piglets, and occasionally also infected rats.

Symptoms

  • Piglets: initially fever, vomiting, impaired movement, movement in circles, inability to swallow, excess saliva, dysfunctional central nervous system: muscle tremors, cramps, paddling movements of extremities and partial paralysis; the mortality rate in piglets up to 2 weeks is 100 %; in 3-4 week old piglets still 50 %; young animals from 1-3 months show weak appetites, runny noses (nasal discharge), slight fever and difficulty breathing. Death mostly occurs only when the central nervous system has been damaged.
  • Weaned/fattening pigs: respiratory diseases, high fever, depression, poor weight gains, damage to central nervous system is rare. Incubation period is 3-5 days at a morbidity rate of 100 % and a mortality rate of 5 %. 
  • Sow/boar: fertility issues 
  • Wild boar: barely show the same level of clinical signs as domestic pigs - there are often no recognisable symptoms of the disease.  
  • Dogs/cats/cattle/small ruminants: encephalitis and myelitis with central nervous symptoms, salivation and severe itching. The disease always ends fatally within 1-3 days for these animals.

Unlike rabies, infected dead-end hosts are thirsty, carnivores show no aggressiveness and ruminants are not afraid of water or show respiratory symptoms -- e.g. excessive panting or being short of breath.

Combating Ausjeszky‘s Disease

Preventing the introduction of Aujeszky’s Disease in healthy regions (all of Austria) and testing domestic pig livestock using appropriate actions, such as monitoring programmes.

A vaccination to prevent this disease is prohibited in Austria!

Live vaccines developed for pigs are pathogenic for cattle, dogs and cats, inactive vaccines are ineffective.
The Federal Ministry of Health recommends checking the relevant bio-safety measures on farms due to the occurrence of Aujeszky’s disease in wild boars -- such as:

  • Change shoes/overalls before entering the pigsty  
  • Avoid contact between domestic pigs and wild boars  
  • Wash hands also before entering the pigsty   
  • Do not gut wild boar on your on premises 
  • Adhering to the ban on liquid feeds is assumed
  • Do not feed raw meat or offal to cats and dogs.

Legal Regulations

An infection of domestic pigs must be reported to the authorities, in line with Art.16 of the Austrian Law on epizootic diseases.

There is a permanent monitoring programme for domestic pig livestock in place in Austria. The observations from this monitoring programme form the basis for the annual assessment of the Aujeszky situation in Austria. Austria has been officially free from Aujeszky’s Disease in domestic pigs since 1997, according to the results of these examinations.

The Council Directive from 26th June, 1964 on the regulation of animal health problems affecting intra-Community trade in bovine animals and swine (64/432/EEC) in its amended form, Veterinary Amendment Law 2007, in its amended form.

NOTE: here you will find selected legal texts from the European Union and Austrian jurisdiction (law acts, regulations and promulgations).

The entire, up-to-date Austrian body of law and Community Law can be found on these links:

European Union: Link to Eur-lex system

Austria: Legal Information System of the Federal Government (RIS) 

AGES cannot be made liable for the updatedness of the legal bases. They are a service to our customers and are for information purposes only - the current legal texts (consolidated form) can be found in the databases mentioned above (EUR-LEX and RIS).

Literature

DAHLE, J., PATZELT, T., SCHAGEMANN, G., LIESS, B. (1993): Antibody prevalence of hog cholera, bovine viral diarrhoea and Aujeszky’s disease virus in wild boars in Northern Germany. Dtsch. Tierärztl. Wschr. 100, 330 - 333.

FANKHAUSER, R., FATZER, R., STECK, F., ZENDALI, J.-P. (1975): Morbus Aujeszky bei Hund und Katze in der Schweiz. Schweiz. Arch. Tierheilk. 117, 623 - 629.

FLIR, K. (1982): Aujeszky's Disease in Swine and dogs from the pathologist's view.  Tierärztl. Praxis 10(4), 481 - 490.

GORE, R., OSBORNE, A.S. (1977): Aujeszky’s disease in a pack of hounds. Vet. Rec. 101, 93 - 95.

HAHN, E.C., PAGE, G.R., HAHN, P.S., GILLIS, K.D., ROMERO,C., ANNELLI, J.A., GIBBS, E.P.J. (1997): Mechanism of transmission of Aujeszky’s disease virus originating from feral swine in the USA. Vet. Microbiol. 55, 123 - 130.

HARRIS, A. (1968): Aujeszky’s disease in a dog. J. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc. 152, 54.

HENDERSON, J.P., GRAHAM, D.A., STEWART, D. (1995): An outbreak of Aujeszky’s disease in sheep in Northern Ireland. Vet. Rec. 136, 555 - 557.

HERMANN, S.C., HEPPNER, B, LUDWIG, H. (1984): Pseudorabies virus from clinical outbreaks and latent infections grouped into four major genome types. In: WITTMANN, G., GASKELL R.M., RHIZA, H.J (eds): Latent herpes virus infections in veterinary medicine. Curr. Top. Vet. Anim. Sci. 27, 387 - 401.

HORZINEK, M.C., Schmidt, V., Lutz, H. (2005): Krankheiten der Katze. Enke Verlag, Stuttgart, ISBN: 978383041049

HUGOSON, G., ROCKBORN G. (1972): On the occurrence of pseudorabies in Sweden. II. An outbreak in dogs caused by feeding abattoir offal. Zbl. Vet. Med. B 19, 641 - 645.

JACOBS, L., MULDER, W., DERCKSEN, D., VOS, J., RAYMAKERS, R., KIMMAN, T. (1997): Detection of wild-type Aujeszky´s disease virus by polymerase chain reaction in sheep vaccinated with a modified live vaccine strain. Res. Vet. Sci. 62, 271 - 274.

JUBB, K.F., HUXTABLE, C.R. (1993): The nervous system. In: JUBB, K.F., KENNEDY, P., PALMER, N. (eds): Pathology of domestic animals. 4th ed., vol. 1, Academic Press, San Diego, p. 406 - 409.

KAADEN, O.-R. (2002): Viruskrankheiten der Tiere. In: ROLLE, M.,MAYR, A. (Hrsg.): Medizinische Mikrobiologie, Infektions- und Seuchenlehre. 7. Auflage, Enke, Stuttgart, S. 192 - 198.

KNÖSEL, H. (1968): Zur Histopathologie der Aujeszky’schen Krankheit bei Hund und Katze. Zbl. Vet. Med. B 15, 592 - 598.

KRAFT, W.R., Dürr, U.M., Hartmann, K. (2003): Katzenkrankheiten. Verlag M&H-Schaper GmbH & Co KG, Alfeld (Leine) - Hannover, Germany

LESCHNIK, M., GRUBER, A., KÜBBER-HEISS, A., BAGÓ, A., REVILLA_FERNÁNDEZ, S., WODAK, E., MÜLLER, E., RATH, H., DEUTZ, A. (2012): Epidemiologische Aspekte der Aujeszkyschen Krankheit in Österreich anhand von sechs aktuellen Fällen beim Hund. Vet Med Austria 99, 82 - 90. 

MATSUOKA, T., IIJIMA, Y., DAKURAI, K., KONOSU, Y., TAMIYA,K., OKI, M., ARAI, N., KODA M. (1988): Aujeszky’s disease in a dog. Jap. J. Vet. Sci. 50, 277 - 278.

MONROE, W.E. (1989): Clinical signs associated with pseudorabies in dogs. J. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc. 195, 599 - 602.

MÜLLER, T., KLUPP, B., ZELLMER, R., TEUFFERT, J., ZIEDLER, K., POSSARDT, C., MEWES, L., DRESENKAMP, B., CONRATHS, F.J., METTENLEITER, T.C. (1998): Characterisation of pseudorabies virus isolated from wild boar (Sus scrofa). Vet. Rec. 143, 337 - 340.

MÜLLER, T.F., TEUFFERT, J., ZLLMER, R., CONRATHS F.J. (2001): Experimental infections of European wild boars and domestic pigs with pseudorabies viruses with differing virulence. AJVR 62(2), 252 - 258.

MÜLLER, T., KLUPP, B.G., FREULING, C., HOFFMANN, B., MOJCICZ, M., CAPUA, I., PALFI, V., TOMA, B., LUTZ, W., RUIZ.FON, F., GORTARZAR, C., HLINAK, A., SCHAARSCHMIDT, U., ZIMMER, K., CONRATHS, F.J., HAHN, E.C., METTENLEITER, T.C. (2010): Characterisation of pseudorabies virus of wild boar origin from Europe. Epidemiol. Infect. 138(11), 1590-1600.

MÜLLER, T., HAHN, E.C., TOTTEWITZ, F., KRAMER, M., KLUPP, B.G., METTENLEITER, T.C., FREULING C. (2011): Pseudorabies virus in wild swine: a global perspective. Arch Virol. 156(10), 1691 - 705.

NOWOTNY, N., MÖSTL, K., MADERBACHER, R., ODÖRFER, G., SCHUH, M. (1994): Serological studies in Austrian fattening pigs with respiratory disorders. Acta Vet. Hung. 42, 377 - 379.

PENSAERT, M., COMMEYNE, S., ANDRIES, K. (1980): Vaccination of dogs, against pseudorabies (Aujeszky's Disease) using an inactivated vaccine. Am. J. Res. 41(12), 2016 - 2019.

PENSAERT, M., KLUGE, J.P. (1989): Pseudorabies virus (Aujeszky’s disease). In: PENSAERT, M. (ed.): Virus infections of vertebrates. Vol. 2, Virus infections of porcines, Elsevier, Amsterdam, p. 39 - 64.

POWER, E.P., O’CONNOR, M., DONNELLY, W.J.C., DOLAN, C.E. (1990): Aujeszky’s disease in a cow. Vet. Rec. 126, 13 - 15.

QUIROGA, M.I., NIETO, J.M., OSORIO, F. (1998): Diagnosis of Aujeszky’s disease virus infection in dogs by use of immunohistochemistry and in-situ hybridization. J. Vet. Med. A 45, 75 - 81.

SHELL, L.G., ELY, R.W., CRANDELL, R.A. (1981): Pseudorabies in a dog. J. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc. 178, 1159 - 1161.

SABO, A., RAJKANI, J., RAUS, J., KARELOVA, E. (1968): Studies on the pathogenesisof Aujeszky's disease of cats.Arch. gesamte Virusforsch. 25, 288 - 298.

STEINRIGL, A., REVILLA-FERNÁNDEZ, S., KOLODZIEJEK, J., WODAK, E., BAGÓ, Z., NOWOTNY, N., SCHMOLL, F., KÖFER, J. (2012): Detection and molecular characterization of Suid Herpesvirus Type 1 in Austrian wild boars and hunting dogs. Vet. Microbiol. 157(3-4), 276 - 284.

STEINRIGL, A., REVILLA-FERNÁNDEZ, S., BAGÓ, Z., SCHMOLL, F. (2011): Pseudorabies virus Infektion beim Wildschwein: ein Risiko für unsere Haustiere? 6. Leipziger Tierärztekongress, Vortrag, Leipziger Blaue Hefte 3, 263 - 265:

SZWEDA, W., LIPOWSKI, A., CIECIERSKI, H., ZALEWSKI, K., PIRUS, T. (1998): European wild boar (Sus scrofa) as a reservoir of herpesvirus suis 1. Med.Wetery. 54, 541 - 544.

VANDEVEDE, M. (1998): Pseudorabies. IN: GREENE, C.E. (Hrsg.): Infectious diseases of the Dog and Cat. 2. Auflage, W.B. Saunders, Philadelphia, USA, pp. 126 - 128.

VENGUST, G., VALENCAK, Z., BIDOVEC, A. (2006): A serological survey of selected pathogens in wild boar in Slovenia. J. Vet. Med. B 53, 24 - 27.

WAGNER-RIETSCHEL, H. (1994): Die Aujeszkysche Krankheit beim Hund, eine ungewöhnliche Verlaufsform. Prakt. Tierarzt 9, 767 - 768.

ZUPANCIC, Z., JUKIC, B., LOJKIC, M., CAC, Z, JEMERSIC, L., STAREŠINA, V. (2002): Prevalence of antibodies to classical swine fever, Aujeszky's disease, porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome, and bovine viral diarrhoea viruses in wild boars in Croatia. J. Vet. Med. B 49, 253 - 256.


x