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Permanent URL to this publication: http://dx.doi.org/10.5167/uzh-9486

Wiederkehr, D; Sydler, T; Buergi, E; Haessig, M; Zimmermann, D; Pospischil, A; Brugnera, E; Sidler, X (2009). A new emerging genotype subgroup within PCV-2b dominates the PMWS epizooty in Switzerland. Veterinary Microbiology, 136(1-2):27-35.

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Postweaning multisystemic wasting syndrome (PMWS) is among the most important emerging pig diseases worldwide. Initially, the insidious nature of the disease made it difficult to pinpoint the pathogen. The presence of porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) in all PMWS diseased animals led to its acceptance, possibly together with an unknown factor, as the causative agent for PMWS. Also, presence of PCV2 in healthy individuals did not facilitate the understanding of the disease. Phylogenetic classification separates PCV2 viruses into at least two major groups. With the aid of a signature motif, a short amino acid motif encoded within the capsid protein, the viruses are determined as belonging to PCV-2a or PCV-2b. Recently, this classification received more attention, as it seemed to define PCV-2b to be more virulent. This simplification, however, could not be confirmed experimentally. Hence, we investigated whether virus genetic shift was an initiator for the PMWS epizooty in Switzerland. Piglet lymphoid tissues from 1973 to 2005 were investigated by histology, immunohistochemistry (IHC) and PCR. For genotype classification, a sequence amplificate of 137bp was used encompassing the signature motif. The onset of Swiss PMWS epizooty exhibited a marked shift in PMWS diseased and subclinically infected piglets to PCV-2b and specifically to one genotype subgroup. Complementary to these observations, healthy piglets also defined by IHC as negative are positive in the PCR reaction and are void of any PCV-2b virus during epizooty. Consequently, our data support PCV2 genome plasticity as a major contributing factor for PMWS disease manifestation.


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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Institute of Veterinary Pathology
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Institute of Surgical Pathology
05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Veterinary Clinic > Department of Farm Animals
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Date:14 April 2009
Deposited On:03 Feb 2009 14:32
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:47
Publisher DOI:10.1016/j.vetmic.2008.10.028
PubMed ID:19081207

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