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Vet Pathol. 2006 May;43(3):281-93.

Evidence of breed-dependent differences in susceptibility to porcine circovirus type-2-associated disease and lesions.

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


Porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) has been confirmed as the primary cause of postweaning multisystemic wasting syndrome (PMWS). However, in the field, PMWS is seen only in a small percentage of pigs infected with PCV2. The overall objective of the study reported here was to determine whether host genetic differences in the susceptibility to PCV2-associated disease exist among selected breeds of pigs. This study included Duroc (n = 23), Landrace (n = 19), and Large White (n = 21) pigs. The pigs were infected intranasally and intramuscularly at 5-7 weeks of age with PCV2. A portion of the pigs (31/63; 30.2%) had low passively acquired PCV2 antibodies at the time of infection. There were no differences in mean weight gain, rectal temperature, or respiratory score. Clinical disease compatible with PMWS was observed only in the Landrace pigs. Most of the PCV2-infected pigs had enlarged lymph nodes, and individual Duroc and Landrace pigs had mottled tan lungs. PCV2-associated lymphoid depletion and granulomatous inflammation were observed in pigs of all breeds. Three of 19 Landrace pigs and none of the Duroc or Large White pigs developed severe lymphoid lesions associated with large amounts of intralesional PCV2 antigen typical of PMWS. Compared with seronegative Landrace pigs, Landrace pigs that had low maternal antibodies at the time of PCV2 inoculation had significantly (P < 0.05) less-severe PCV2-associated lesions. The results suggest a predisposition of the Landrace pigs of this study to PCV2-induced disease and lesions, and that low levels of passively acquired antibodies are protective.

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