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  • Author or Editor: Ivan Toplak x
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The genetic diversity of acute bee paralysis virus (ABPV) in honeybees was studied in Slovenia. A total of 248 honeybee samples obtained from 134 different apiaries in Slovenia were tested for the presence of ABPV by RT-PCR. Specific 398-base pair (bp) products were generated with primers amplifying the ORF2 region and 452-base pair (bp) products with primers amplifying the ORF1 region of the viral genome. To characterise the overall nucleotide diversity among the ABPV sequences, phylogenetic trees with 54 and 29 samples were constructed from 357 nucleotides from ORF2 and 408 nucleotides from ORF1, respectively. The nucleotide comparison of Slovenian ABPV strains revealed two distinct clusters in ORF2 and ORF1, showing 91.2–92.5% and 96.7–97.2% nucleotide identity, respectively. Comparison of data regarding the geographical location of the ABPV-positive samples with the constructed phylogenetic trees revealed the random distribution of the two clusters throughout Slovenia.

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Over the last few years several porcine epidemic diarrhoea (PED) outbreaks have been discovered in Europe including the first PED case in Slovenia in January 2015. The aim of this study was to determine when PED virus (PEDV) infection started in Slovenia. Serum samples collected between 2012 and 2016 were tested. Three hundred and seventy-five serum samples were collected from 132 Slovenian small, one-site pig farms. Samples were tested for PEDV antibodies utilising three different serological methods: commercially-available indirect ELISA, in-house blocking ELISA test and Immunoperoxidase Monolayer Assay (IPMA) test. One hundred and seventy (45.33%) tested samples were found positive by the commercially-available ELISA test kit, and 10 (5.68%) of these 170 samples found positive were positive by the in-house blocking ELISA. Only these 10 samples were collected from a farm where clinical signs of PED infection had been observed and PEDV was confirmed by RT-PCR methodology; the other 160 samples were collected randomly. Thirty-two samples with the highest S/P value obtained with the commercial ELISA were all negative with IPMA. Reasons for the high variance in the results obtained remain unclear; more research is required to ensure higher sensitivity and specificity in terms of PEDV antibody tests and other PED diagnostic methods.

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The large heterogeneity among porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) isolates is probably the main obstacle to its effective control using current commercial vaccines. Intentionally exposing all breeding pigs to PRRSV circulating on the farm could eliminate porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) from the herd. The objective of this study was to eliminate PRRS from a farrow-to-finish pig farm by serum inoculation. The owner was acquainted with the strict biosecurity measures. Breeding pigs were immunised with serum, which was obtained from PRRSV-positive weaners from the same farm. The percent of antibody high positive breeding pigs decreased six months after serum inoculation, while 34 months after serum inoculation no more antibody high positive pigs were detected and 56.8% of breeding pigs and all other categories were free of antibodies. In the breeding herd no virus was detected during all testing while PRRSV circulated in 2-month-old weaners until 12 months after serum inoculation. Later all tested samples from weaners, growers and fatteners were negative. Herd closure and the adoption of strict biosecurity measures are essential. Serum inoculation of the breeding herd proved to be a successful measure for eliminating PRRS from this farrow-to-finish farm.

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Authors: Tomislav Keros, Lorena Jemeršić, Ivan Toplak and Jelena Prpić

A survey was conducted to evaluate the presence and prevalence of Porcine Bocavirus (PBoV) in Croatian domestic pigs by means of PCR targeting the NS1 gene fragment of PBoV. This study included testing of faecal samples collected from 10 small commercial farms and 11 small backyard holdings in Croatia. The presence of PBoV was confirmed by PCR in 24 out of 57 composite faecal samples from small commercial farms and in 12 out of 43 composite faecal samples from small backyard holdings. The PCR products of 18 positive samples were sequenced for genotyping. PBoV sequences grouped into the PBoV-a, PBoV-b and PBoV-c groups with 90.81% to 99.25% nucleotide identity. All Croatian PBoV sequences showed a high nucleotide and amino acid identity with PBoV sequences from China and Hong Kong, the United States, Sweden, and Slovenia. These results clearly show that PBoV is circulating among the domestic pig population in Croatia.

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Authors: Ivan Toplak, Sava Lazić, Diana Lupulović, Jasna Prodanov-Radulović, Zsolt Becskei, Radoslav Došen and Tamaš Petrović

Recent variants of porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) were obtained from tissues of domestic pigs with porcine circovirus associated disease and from randomly selected wild boar samples from Serbia and Slovenia. A 450-base-pair nucleotide sequence was obtained by PCR from the ORF2. The derived nucleotide and amino acid sequences were aligned and compared to the corresponding region of closely related PCV2 sequences determined in previous years and retrieved from the GenBank. The 30 Serbian and 17 Slovenian PCV2 sequences clustered into three previously determined genotypes (PCV2a: 7), (PCV2b: 38) and (PCV2d: 2). Three major variable regions, concerning 29 amino acid position substitutions within the ORF2, were observed, which further supports the segregation of the detected strains into three separate genotypes. This study indicates that PCV2b is the predominant genotype in Serbia and Slovenia and the detected PCV2 strains are closely related to those previously described in Europe and in other parts of the world.

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Authors: Urška Henigman, Majda Biasizzo, Stanka Vadnjal, Andrej Kirbiš, Ivan Toplak and Darja Barlič-Maganja

The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of Vibrio parahaemolyticus in shellfish samples harvested along the Slovenian coast. Shellfish samples of Mediterranean mussels (Mytilus galloprovincialis) were collected along the Slovenian coast at four locations (Seča, Piran, Strunjan and Debeli Rtič) between 2006 and 2008. Samples were examined and analysed for the presence of V. parahaemolyticus by conventional and molecular methods. The presence of Vibrio in the samples was examined by conventional methods on plate grown bacterial cells before and after enrichment in alkaline saline peptone water (ASPW). PCR methods were used for the detection of V. parahaemolyticus-specific toxR and tlh genes and of the virulence-associated tdh and trh genes. Out of 168 samples examined, 24 were positive for toxR and tlh genes by PCR from enrichment broth. Five out of 62 (8.1%), 4 out of 32 (12.5%) and 15 out of 74 (20.2%) samples were positive in 2006, 2007 and 2008, respectively. Colonies of V. parahaemolyticus were isolated from only one sample positive for V. parahaemolyticus by PCR.

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