Genetic and phylogenetic analysis of porcine circovirus type 2 on Jeju Island, South Korea, 2019–2020: evidence of a novel intergenotypic recombinant

Abstract

Porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) is the most ubiquitous viral pathogen of pigs and has persistently affected the global swine industry. Since first being identified in South Korea in 1999, the virus has undergone considerable genetic change and genotype shifts during the past two decades. These events have contributed to the coexistence of genotypes PCV2a, PCV2b, and PCV2d in Korean pig populations, which may promote viral recombination. The genotypic and phylogenetic characteristics of PCV2 strains circulating in pig herds on Jeju Island from 2019 to 2020 were the focus of this study. Genotype-specific PCR indicated that PCV2d is the dominant viral genotype and that coinfections with PCV2d and PCV2a (75%) or PCV2a and PCV2b (25%) are common in provincial pig herds. The complete genome sequences of 11 PCV2 strains, including three PCV2a, two PCV2b, and six PCV2d strains, were determined. A genomic comparison showed that all of the viruses had the highest nucleotide sequence identity to their corresponding genotypic reference strain. Notably, genetic and phylogenetic analysis revealed that one PCV2d strain, KNU-1931, exhibited nucleotide sequence variation in the ORF1 gene when compared to other PCV2d strains but showed a high degree of similarity to the PCV2b strains. Comprehensive recombination analysis suggested that KNU-1931 originated from natural recombination within ORF1 between PCV2b (the minor parent) and PCV2d (the major parent) strains. Our findings provide information about the frequency of genetic recombination between two different PCV2 genotypes circulating in the field domestically, illustrating the importance of continual intergenotypic recombination for viral fitness when multiple genotypes are present.

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Acknowledgements

This research was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF), funded by the Ministry of Education (NRF- 2018R1D1A1B07040334).

Funding

This research was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (NRF- 2018R1D1A1B07040334).

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Correspondence to Changhee Lee.

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Jang, G., Yoo, H., Kim, Y. et al. Genetic and phylogenetic analysis of porcine circovirus type 2 on Jeju Island, South Korea, 2019–2020: evidence of a novel intergenotypic recombinant. Arch Virol 166, 1093–1102 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00705-020-04948-1

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