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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2005

Experimental reproduction of postweaning multisystemic wasting syndrome (PMWS) in pigs in Sweden and Denmark with a Swedish isolate of porcine circovirus type 2

Hasslung F, Wallgren P, Ladekjaer-Hansen AS, Botner A, Nielsen J, Wattrang E, Allan GM, McNeilly F, Ellis J, Timmusk S, Belak K, Segall T, Melin L, Berg M, Fossum C


An experimental model using 3-day-old snatch-farrowed colostrum-deprived piglets co-infected with porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) and porcine parvovirus (PPV) is at present one of the best methods to study factors affecting development of postweaning multisystemic wasting syndrome (PMWS). A Swedish isolate of PCV2 (S-PCV2) retrieved in 1993 from a healthy pig has been used in this model to reproduce PMWS in pigs from Northern Ireland. This virus has been present in the Swedish pig population for at least a decade without causing any known PMWS disease problems, despite its potential pathogenicity. The reasons for this are unknown, but could be related to genetics, absence of triggers for PCV2 upregulation (infectious agent and/or management forms) within Swedish pig husbandry. In order to confirm the pathogenicity of S-PCV2, Swedish and Danish pigs were experimentally infected with this isolate according to the established model. Swedish pigs were also infected with a reference isolate of PCV2 (PCV2-1010) to compare the severity of disease caused by the two isolates in Swedish pigs. Both Danish and Swedish pigs developed PMWS after the experimental infection with S-PCV2. Antibodies to PCV2 developed later and reached lower levels in serum from pigs infected with S-PCV2 than in pigs inoculated with PCV2-1010. In general, pigs infected with S-PCV2 showed more severe clinical signs of disease than pigs infected with PCV2-1010, but pigs from all PCV2-inoculated groups displayed gross and histological lesions consistent with PMWS. All pigs inoculated with PPV, alone or in combination with PCV2, displayed interleukin-10 responses in serum while only pigs infected with PPV in combination with PCV2 showed interferon-a in serum on repeated occasions. Thus, the pathogenicity of S-PCV2 was confirmed and a role for cytokines in the etiology of PMWS was indicated. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

Published in

Veterinary Microbiology
2005, Volume: 106, number: 1-2, pages: 49-60