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J Vet Diagn Invest. 1998 Jan;10(1):3-10.

Isolation of porcine circovirus-like viruses from pigs with a wasting disease in the USA and Europe.

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  • 1Department of Agriculture for Northern Ireland, Veterinary Sciences Division, Belfast.


Samples of lung, liver, kidney, pancreas, spleen, and lymph node from pigs with postweaning multisystemic wasting syndrome from California (USA) and samples of mesenteric lymph nodes from similarly diseased pigs from Brittany (France) were examined by light microscopy, in situ hybridization (ISH), and/or virus isolation. Whole genomic probes for porcine circovirus (PCV) and chicken anemia virus (CAV) were used for ISH. Tissue homogenate supernatants were inoculated onto PK/15 cells for virus isolation, and the presence of viral antigen and viral particles was verified by indirect immunofluorescence, ISH, and electron microscopy. Histologic examination of lung from pigs from California revealed interstitial pneumonia, alveolar epithelial hyperplasia, and basophilic nuclear and cytoplasmic inclusions in mononuclear cell infiltrates and various pulmonary epithelial cells. Granulomatous lymphadenitis with syncytial cells typified the lesions seen in the pigs from France. PCV-like nucleic acid was detected by ISH in lung, pancreas, lymph node, kidney, and liver in pigs from California. Positive signal was also obtained in lymph node sections from pigs from France. Probes for CAV were consistently negative. PK/15 cell cultures inoculated with lung preparations from diseased California pigs and mesenteric lymph node preparations from pigs from France had positive fluorescence by indirect staining for PCV using pooled polyclonal pig sera and hyperimmune rabbit serum and had variable staining with a panel of 7 monoclonal antibodies specific for cell culture contaminant PCV. PCV-like nucleic acid was also detected by ISH in cell cultures. Cytopathic effect was not observed. Electron microscopic examination of inoculated cell cultures revealed 17-nm viral particles morphologically consistent with PCV. No other virus particles were observed. Although genomic analysis for the definitive identification of these viral isolates remains to be done, the evidence provided strongly suggests that these tissue isolates are closely related to, although antigenically distinct from, the original PCV cell culture contaminant.

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