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J Vet Diagn Invest. 1999 Jan;11(1):3-14.

Reproduction of lesions of postweaning multisystemic wasting syndrome in gnotobiotic piglets.

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  • 1Department of Veterinary Microbiology, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada.


Neonatal gnotobiotic piglets were inoculated with tissue homogenates and low- and high-passage cell culture material to determine if the lesions of the newly described porcine postweaning multisystemic wasting syndrome (PMWS) could be reproduced. For this, 17 3-day-old gnotobiotic piglets were inoculated intranasally with pelleted chloroform-treated, filtered extracts from cell cultures, filter-sterilized homogenates of lymphoid tissue from PMWS-affected piglets, or control materials. Piglets were maintained in germ-free isolators for up to 5 weeks after infection prior to euthanasia and collection of samples for analysis. All piglets inoculated with the viral inocula developed lesions typical of PMWS, including generalized lymphadenopathy, hepatitis, nephritis, interstitial pneumonia, myocarditis, and gastritis. Porcine circovirus (PCV), as well as porcine parvovirus (PPV), was detected in tissues by virus reisolation, polymerase chain reaction analysis, or immunohistochemistry. All infected piglets developed moderate to high titers of antibody to PCV and moderate titers to PPV. No lesions, virus, or virus-specific antibodies were detected in sham-inoculated or uninoculated control piglets. These studies demonstrate that the lesions of PMWS can be experimentally reproduced in gnotobiotic piglets using filterable viral agents derived from pigs with PMWS and provide an experimental basis for further investigation into the pathogenesis and control of this emerging infectious disease in swine.

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