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Vet Microbiol. 2010 May 19;142(3-4):217-24. doi: 10.1016/j.vetmic.2009.10.003. Epub 2009 Oct 20.

A study on the severity and relevance of porcine circovirus type 2 infections in Dutch fattening pigs with respiratory diseases.

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Animal Health Service (GD), Deventer, The Netherlands.


This study was set up to get more insights in the severity and relevance of porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) infections in Dutch fattening farms in an endemic PCV2-situation with no clinical signs of post-weaning multisystemic wasting syndrome (PMWS). In part A of the study, in total 29 commercial fattening farms with varying percentages of pneumonia and pleurisy at slaughter were examined. Blood samples were collected at random by cross-sectional sampling; 10 in the age of 10-12 weeks, 10 at the age of 16 weeks and 10 blood samples at the end of the finishing period (20-22 weeks of age). Serum samples were examined for the presence of PCV2 IgM and IgG antibodies and for antibodies against other porcine lung pathogens. In part B, 8 "high" and 8 "low" herds were selected. The 8 "high" herds were defined as herds having high percentages of lung lesions (pneumonia) at slaughter, and the 8 "low" herds had low percentages of pneumonia at slaughter. For both the "high" and "low" herds, 3 pigs showing signs of respiratory distress were selected for necropsy (n=48). Lung tissue samples were examined post-mortem for macroscopic and histopathological lesions, and for the presence of bacteria and viruses. The results of part A showed that, pigs at 16 weeks of age with IgM antibodies against PCV2 had a lower probability of having pleuritis at slaughter (OR 0.34, P<0.000). Pigs in the age category of 20-22 weeks, and with IgM antibodies against PCV2, also had a lower probability of having pneumonia at slaughter (OR 0.29, P=0.032). In part B lobus apicalis pneumonia, PCV2 in macroscopically unaffected lungs, Pasteurella multocida, Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae, and swine influenza viruses were all found significantly more often in "high" than in "low" pigs at autopsy. High PCV2 DNA loads (>10(4) PCV2 DNA copies/mg) were found in lungs of 14 (58%) "high", and in 7 (29%) of the "low" pigs (P=0.13). In 11 of the 19 affected lungs from "high" pigs, high PCV2 DNA loads were found in combination with one or more other lung pathogens, while this was found only in 5 of the 17 affected lungs from "low" pigs (P=0.02). This study confirms the hypothesis that PCV2 plays a role in pneumonia and pleurisy in 10-24 weeks old fattening pigs, not only in herds with a high prevalence of PMWS, but also in herds with no clinical signs of PMWS.

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