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Research article2002Peer reviewedOpen access

Exudative epidermitis and porcine circovirus-2 infection in a Swedish SPF-herd

Wattrang, E; McNeilly, F; Allan, GM; Greko, C; Fossum, C; Wallgren, P


An outbreak of exudative epidermitis (EE) among piglets in a Swedish SPF-herd initiated a survey for indications as to the cause of disease.The herd was established by caesarean section and has been closed to all new animal material, with the exception of semen for artificial insemination (AI). The study comprised scrum samples from the SPF-herd over a 10-year period (n = 109) and a close monitoring of animals in the herd during the period after the EE outbreak. Serum samples from conventional boars at the AI-station servicing the herd were also included (n = 9). All serum samples were tested for antibodies to porcine circovirus-2 (PCV-2). In addition, 3-week-old piglets from three litters (n = 24) farrowed close after the initial EE outbreak were closely monitored for clinical signs of skin disease, sampled for Staphylococcus hyicus, tested for antibodies to porcine parvovirus and in sequentially collected serum samples tested for interferon-alpha (IFN-alpha) and interleukin-6.The PVC-2 serology showed that animals in the herd were scro-negative at least until 2 months prior to the EE outbreak. During the period close after the EE outbreak the animals showed varying levels of antibodies to PCV-2 but all the tested animals had scro-converted 4 months later, The AI boars were also sero-positive to PCV-2 at the time of the EE outbreak. Animals in the SPF-herd remained sero-positive to PCV-2 during the following 7 years. In the monitored litters, one piglet had clinical EE and 15 piglets displayed defined erythemas on the abdomen. Fourteen of the piglets also had IFN-alpha in serum on one or more occasions during the study, indicating viral activity among the animals. S. hyicus was isolated from all of the piglets from the earliest sampling point (3 days of age) and onwards, irrespective of clinical signs. PCV-2 was isolated from lymphnode tissue collected from one of the EE affected pigs.Further, increases in the number of stillborn piglets, small litters (<6 piglets) and repeat breeders could be correlated to the time of PCV-2 sero-conversion. Coincidence of active viral infection and sero-conversion to PCV-2 points to the virus as the cause of the EE outbreak and reproductive disturbances. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.


porcine circovirus-2; exudative epidermitis; Staphylococcus hyicus; pig; reproduction

Published in

Veterinary Microbiology
2002, Volume: 86, number: 4, article number: S0378-1135(02)00024-XPublisher: ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV

      SLU Authors

    • Wattrang, Eva

      • Department of Veterinary Microbiology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
      • Fossum, Caroline

        • Department of Veterinary Microbiology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
        • Wallgren, Per

          • Department of Veterinary Microbiology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

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