The detection of porcine circovirus in the Australian pig herd

W. Raye, Jillian Muhling, L. Warfe, J.R. Buddle, C. Palmer, G.E. Wilcox

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    Objective To determine if porcine circovirus (PCV) type 1 (PCV1) or type 2 (PCV2) is present in the Australian pig herd, to conduct preliminary genetic characterisation of any viruses detected, and to determine if there is any obvious virological reason why post-weaning multisystemic wasting disease (PMWS), associated with PCV infection in other countries, has not been detected in Australia.Design Serum samples were collected from 14 randomly selected pig farms in Western Australia and used for detection of PCV antibody. Additional samples from one farm were obtained at 2-week intervals from pigs between 2 and 12 weeks of age to detect any age-associated variations in prevalence of infection. Veterinary practitioners from four Australian states submitted tissues of dead or unthrifty weaned pigs, and these were examined for evidence of PCV1 and PCV2 infection.Procedure Sera were tested for antibody to PCV using an indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA). Tissues were tested for PCV1 and PCV2 genomic material using a multiplex PCR.Results PCV antibody was detected in approximately 30% of Western Australian pigs tested. PCV1 DNA was detected in tissue samples from Western Australia, South Australia and New South Wales and PCV2 DNA was detected in tissue samples from Western Australia, New South Wales and Queensland. Sequence analysis of the PCR products indicated the PCV1 and PCV2 present in Australia were very similar to strains in other countries where PMWS is endemic.Conclusion Both PCV1 and PCV2 are present in Australia and the viruses present appear similar to those in countries with PMWS. The absence of PCV2-associated PMWS in Australia may be due to absence of essential secondary factors required for PCV2 to produce PMWS.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)300-304
    JournalAustralian Veterinary Journal
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 2005


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