Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) caused by the PRRS virus affects farmed pigs worldwide, causing direct and indirect losses. The most severe manifestations of PRRS infection are observed in piglets and pregnant sows. The clinical outcome of the infection depends on the PRRSV strain’s virulence, the pregnancy state of the female, environmental factors, the presence of protective antibodies due to previous infections, and the host’s genetic susceptibility. The latter aspect was investigated in this study, in particular, evaluating the most significant polymorphisms (SNPs) of the CD163 gene in slaughtered pigs reared in Central Italy. Total RNAs were extracted from 377 swine samples and subjected to RT-PCR targeted to the CD163 gene, followed by sequencing analysis. Contextually, the viral RNA was detected by RT-qPCR in order to phenotypically categorize animals into infected and not infected. In particular, 36 haplotypes were found, and their frequencies ranged from 0.13% to 35.15%. There were 62 resulting genotypes, three of which were associated with a putative resistance to the disease. Both the haplotypes and genotypes were inferred by PHASE v.2.1 software. To the best of our knowledge, this type of investigation was conducted for the first time on pig livestock distributed in different regions of Central Italy. Thus, the obtained findings may be considered very important since they add useful information about swine genetic background in relation to PRRS infection, from the perspective of adopting Marker-Assisted Selection (MAS) as a possible and alternative strategy to control this still widespread disease.
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