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Prev Vet Med. 2010 Dec 1;97(3-4):228-36. doi: 10.1016/j.prevetmed.2010.09.020.

High prevalence of porcine circovirus viremia in newborn piglets in five clinically normal swine breeding herds in North America.

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


Porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) can be vertically transmitted resulting in fetal infection with or without clinical signs and lesions. The primary objective of this study was to assess the prevalence of intrauterine PCV2 infection in clinically normal newborn piglets in conventional pork production facilities. Five commercial breeding herds located in the U.S. and Mexico were included in the study. A total of 125 sows and 3-5 neonatal piglets per sow were arbitrarily selected. Blood and colostrum samples were collected from sows. Blood was collected from piglets prior to suckling. All samples were analyzed for the presence of anti-PCV2 IgG antibodies and presence and amount of PCV2 DNA. In addition, PCV2 DNA positive samples were further subtyped into PCV2a and PCV2b. All (125/125) sow colostrum samples and 96.8% (121/125) of the sow serum samples and 21.4% (107/499) of the piglet pre-suckle serum samples were positive for anti-PCV2 IgG antibody. The overall PCV2 DNA prevalence was 47.2% (59/125) in sow serum, 40.8% (51/125) in sow colostrum, and 39.9% (199/499) in pre-suckle piglet serum. In the PCV2 DNA positive samples, PCV2b was detected at a higher frequency (69.5% for sow serum, 84.3% for sow colostrum, and 74.4% for piglet serum) compared to PCV2a (18.6% for sow serum, 9.8% for sow colostrum, and 15.6% for piglet serum). Concurrent PCV2a and PCV2b infection was detected in 11.9% of the sow serum, in 5.9% of the colostrum samples, and in 10.0% of the piglet serum samples. In conclusion, an unexpectedly high prevalence of PCV2 viremia was detected in healthy sows (serum and colostrum) and their pre-suckle piglets in the five breeding herds investigated and PCV2b was more prevalent than PCV2a. This information adds to the knowledge of PCV2 infection in breeding herds.

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