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Vet Pathol. 2004 Nov;41(6):624-40.

Experimental reproduction of postweaning multisystemic wasting syndrome in pigs by dual infection with Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae and porcine circovirus type 2.

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  • 1Department of Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011-1250, USA.


The objectives of this study were to investigate the interactions between Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae and porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) and to establish a model for studying the pathogenesis of and testing intervention strategies for the control of PCV2-associated porcine respiratory disease complex (PRDC). Sixty-seven pigs were randomly assigned to four groups. Group 1 (n=17) pigs served as controls, group 2 (n=17) pigs were inoculated with M. hyopneumoniae, group 3 (n=17) pigs were dual infected with M. hyopneumoniae and PCV2, and group 4 (n=16) pigs were inoculated with PCV2. Pigs were inoculated intratracheally with M. hyopneumoniae at 4 weeks of age followed by intranasal inoculation with PCV2 at 6 weeks of age. Dual-infected pigs had moderate dyspnea, lethargy, and reduced weight gain. The overall severity of macroscopic lung lesions, PCV2-associated microscopic lesions in lung and lymphoid tissues, and the amount of PCV2-antigen associated with these lesions were significantly (P <0.05) higher in dual-infected pigs compared with all other groups. Four of 17 (23.5%) dual-infected pigs had decreased growth rate and severe lymphoid depletion and granulomatous lymphadenitis associated with high amounts of PCV2-antigen consistent with postweaning multisystemic wasting syndrome (PMWS). PCV2-antigen in lung tissue was most often associated with M. hyopneumoniae-induced peribronchial lymphoid hyperplasia, suggesting that this is an important site for PCV2 replication in the lung. This study indicates that M. hyopneumoniae potentiates the severity of PCV2-associated lung and lymphoid lesions, increases the amount and prolongs the presence of PCV2-antigen, and increases the incidence of PMWS in pigs.

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