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Livestock production is one of the main economic resources of developing countries. In Nigeria, pig farming contributes significantly to the livestock sub-sector and accounts for about 30% of total pig production in Africa. Many infectious diseases never described before in this region may be responsible for production and productivity losses. A preliminary investigation to detect antibodies to porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS), an emerging disease of pigs, in a commercial pig husbandry complex with history of respiratory and reproductive disorders was conducted in Lagos, Nigeria. Two hundred and twenty-one sera randomly collected over six months from slaughtered pigs were analysed for PRRS virus antibodies by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) according to the protocol described by the Office International des Epizooties. Only three specimens from breeding boars (1.4%) out of the total samples analysed were positive for antibodies to the virus. Though the sero-prevalence is low, it is yet an evidence of infection with a virus not previously reported in Nigeria and an indication of its possible contribution to the clinical syndrome observed in the piggery complex. This report, to our knowledge, represents the first serologic evidence of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome in Nigeria. It underscores the need for further serological and virological investigations to establish the actual burden of the disease and inform the institution of appropriate control measures to forestall associated production losses in the pig industry.
Keywords: Porcine reproduction, Respiratory syndrome, Antibodies, Pigs, ELISA