a1 Centre de Recerca en Sanitat Animal (CReSA), Departament de Sanitat i d'Anatomia Animals, Facultat de Veterinaria, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain
a2 Virology Department, Veterinary Research Laboratory, Veterinary Sciences Division, Stoney Road Stormont, DARDNI, Stormont BT4 3SD, Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK
Porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) is a member of the family Circoviridae, a recently established virus family composed of small, non-enveloped viruses, with a circular, single-stranded DNA genome. PCV2, which is found all over the world in the domestic pig and probably the wild boar, has been recently associated with a number of disease syndromes, which have been collectively named porcine circovirus diseases (PCVD). Postweaning multisystemic wasting syndrome (PMWS), porcine dermatitis and nephropathy syndrome (PDNS) and reproductive disorders are the most relevant ones. Among them, only PMWS is considered to have a severe impact on domestic swine production. PMWS mainly affects nursery and/or fattening pigs; wasting is considered the most representative clinical sign in this disease. Diagnosis of this disease is confirmed by histopathological examination of lymphoid tissues and detection of a moderate to high amount of PCV2 in damaged tissues. Since PMWS is considered a multifactorial disease in which other factors in addition to PCV2 are needed in most cases to trigger the clinical disease, effective control measures have focused on the understanding of the co-factors involved in individual farms and the control or elimination of these triggers. PDNS, an immuno-complex disease characterized by fibrino-necrotizing glomerulonephritis and systemic necrotizing vasculitis, has been linked to PCV2, but a definitive proof of this association is still lacking. PCV2-associated reproductive disease seems to occur very sporadically under field conditions, but it has been characterized by late-term abortions and stillbirths, extensive fibrosing and/or necrotizing myocarditis in fetuses and the presence of moderate to high amounts of PCV2 in these lesions. Taking into account that scientific information on PCV2 and its associated diseases has been markedly expanded in the last 8 years, the objective of this review is to summarize the current state of knowledge of the most relevant aspects of PCV2 biology and PCVD.
(Received March 28 2005)
(Accepted August 12 2005)