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Vet Microbiol. 2001 Nov 8;83(2):169-76.

Porcine circovirus 2 infection in swine foetuses inoculated at different stages of gestation.

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  • 1Laboratory of Virology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Salisburylaan 133, B-9820, Merelbeke, Belgium.


The ability of porcine circovirus 2 (PCV2) to replicate and cause pathologic abnormalities in foetuses at selected time points of gestation was examined in this study. Two foetuses were inoculated in utero in each of two sows at 57, 75 and 92 days of gestation, respectively, with PCV2 (1121). The remaining foetuses were left uninoculated to assess whether intra-uterine spread occurred. Twenty-one days after inoculation, the foetuses were collected and examined for gross lesions and for virus and infected cells in different organs. Serum samples from all foetuses were tested for PCV2 antibodies. Virus replication was detected in all inoculated foetuses. Spread to non-inoculated foetuses did not occur. Virus replication was significantly higher in foetuses inoculated at 57 days compared to that inoculated at 75 and 92 days. The heart contained the highest virus titre and highest number of viral antigen positive cells. Gross lesions were observed only in foetuses inoculated at 57 days of age. PCV2 antibodies were detected only in foetuses inoculated at 75 and 92 days. This study shows the ability of PCV2 to replicate in foetuses at different stages of gestation and to cause pathologic abnormalities in foetuses inoculated at 57 gestational days.

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