Porcine circovirus (PCV) appeared in 1974 as an unidentified, innocuous viral inhabitant of cell cultures and pigs. Today PCV1 is a contaminant of some human vaccines, and PCV2 is a major pathogen of swine. PCV1 is reportedly ubiquitous in swine but nonpathogenic. Since the interplay of PCV1 and PCV2 in swine might explain variable disease results and shed light on the potential for human exposure, we analyzed in depth the prevalence of PCV1 and PCV2 infection and exposure in the U.S. finishing swine herd. Over 82% of sera from 185 farms were positive for PCV2 by PCR, whereas only 2.4% were positive for PCV1. More than 80% of PCV2 DNA-positive swine were also positive for anti-PCV2 antibodies. PCV1 was only rarely present. Exposure of swine, and therefore humans via pigs, to PCV1 is negligible. We conclude that PCV2 causes a persistent infection in pigs and that PCV1 is absent or rare in swine.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors thank the USDA APHIS personnel, swine producers and veterinarians whose efforts made the study possible. Tanja Opriessnig, Iowa State University, kindly provided a PCV2 plasmid for initial validation of PCR testing. The research was supported in part by National Pork Board project #07-221.
- Anti-capsid antibodies