, Volume 149, Issue 6, pp 1171-1183
Date: 05 Mar 2004

Detection and genetic typing of type 2 porcine circoviruses in archived pig tissues from the UK

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Porcine circovirus 2 (PCV-2) is implicated as the causative agent of post-weaning multisystemic wasting syndrome (PMWS) and is also associated with porcine dermatitis and nephropathy syndrome (PDNS). The recent emergence of epidemic PMWS in the United Kingdom was predated by sporadic cases of PDNS dating back to the early 1980’s. The aim of this study was to investigate whether PCV-2 DNA was present in archival tissues, and if so, to investigate the relatedness of these viruses with contemporary strains of PCV-2. DNA extracted from paraffin wax-embedded tissue blocks (n = 68), was subjected to a TaqMan® polymerase chain reaction (PCR) targeting a fragment of ORF1 of PCV-2. Positive results were obtained from 41% (9/22), 31% (4/13) and 32% (8/25) of submissions from the 1990’s, 1980’s and 1970’s respectively. The presence of PCV-2 antigen in some of these tissues was confirmed by immunohistochemistry (IHC). A PCR targeting ORF2 was used to obtain sequence data for phylogenetic analysis. Sequences from 5 archival tissues were unique but showed high genetic identity to PCV-2 sequence obtained from a 2000 PDNS case. These data demonstrate that similar isolates of PCV-2 have been present in the UK pig population for more than 30 years.