Vascular Lesions in Pigs Experimentally Infected With Porcine Circovirus Type 2 Serogroup B

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porcine circovirus type 2, porcine circovirus type2-associated disease, swine, vasclar lesions, viral infection


Vasculitis is a hallmark lesion of the severe form of systemic porcine circovirus–associated disease (PCVAD). In 2 experimental studies with porcine circovirus type 2 serogroup b (PCV2b), 2 pigs developed fatal PCVAD with acute vasculitis, and 5 related pigs developed chronic lymphohistiocytic and plasmacytic peri- and endarteritis. Five of these pigs (1 with acute vasculitis and 4 with chronic vasculitis) had also been inoculated with bovine viral diarrhea virus type 1 (BVDV1) or BVDV1-like virus. Vascular lesions were similar, independent of whether pigs had been inoculated singly with PCV2b or dually with PCV2b and BVDV1 or BVDV1-like virus. The acute vasculitis was accompanied by marked pulmonary and mesenteric edema and pleural effusion. In situ hybridization demonstrated abundant intracytoplasmic porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) nucleic acid in endothelial, smooth muscle–like, and inflammatory cells within and around affected arteries. The pigs with lymphohistiocytic and plasmacytic vasculitis had lesions of systemic PCVAD, including multisystemic lymphoplasmacytic and histiocytic or granulomatous inflammation. PCV2 nucleic acid was detected in renal tubule epithelial cells, mononuclear inflammatory cells, and rare endothelial cells in noninflamed vessels in multiple tissues of these animals. The 2 pigs with acute vasculitis had no PCV2-specific antibodies (or a low titer of), whereas the pigs with lymphohistiocytic and plasmacytic vasculitis developed high antibody titers against this virus. These observations suggest that (1) acute vasculitis observed in the current studies is directly caused by PCV2b, (2) chronic vasculitis may in part be mediated by the subsequent immune response, and (3) host factors and viral strain may both contribute to vasculitis in animals infected with PCV2b.

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Veterinary Pathology





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