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Anim Health Res Rev. 2009 Jun;10(1):1-20. doi: 10.1017/S1466252308001461. Epub 2008 Sep 2.

Porcine circoviruses: a minuscule yet mammoth paradox.

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Center for Molecular Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA, USA.


Porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) is the primary causative agent for porcine circovirus-associated disease (PCVAD). PCVAD has been the cause of considerable economic losses to the pork industry worldwide. The disease is primarily characterized by wasting, enlarged lymph nodes, jaundice and weight loss in affected weanling pigs. Several other complex syndromes involving reproductive failure, enteritis, pneumonia and necrotizing dermatitis have also been associated with PCV2 infection. Lymphoid depletion, which is the hallmark lesion of PCVAD, predisposes the host to immunosuppression. Disease progression is further complicated by co-infections with other bacterial and viral pathogens. Despite the availability of effective vaccines for the last 2 years, newly emerging strains of the virus have been reported to cause more severe outbreaks in parts of the USA and Canada. While knowledge of the biology and pathogenesis of PCV2 has progressed considerably over the last 12 years since the disease was recognized, many questions still remain to be answered.

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