Genetic Characterization of Porcine Circovirus Type 2 (PCV2) in Pigs of Bhutan

Monger, V.R.; Loeffen, W.L.A.; Kus, K.; Stegeman, J.A.; Dukpa, K.; Szymanek, K.; Podgórska, K.


Porcine circovirus (PCV) is a small non-enveloped virus with a single-stranded circular DNA with two antigenically and genetically different species, PCV1 and PCV2. Among these two, PCV2 is responsible for multifactorial disease syndromes, the most important disease known as PCV2-systemic disease (PCV2-SD), previously known as post-weaning multisystemic wasting syndrome (PMWS). The epidemiological situation is dynamically changing and new strains including recombinant PCV2 have emerged in Asia. In Bhutan, pigs are important livestock and play a very important role in providing meat and income for rural farmers. Although high rate of pigs seropositive against PCV2 was described in Bhutan, there was no virological evidence for PCV2 infections. This study was conducted to confirm the presence of PCV2 through detection of PCV2 DNA and molecular characterization of PCV2 strains in tissue and blood samples collected from Bhutanese pigs. Porcine circovirus type 2 genome was detected in 16 of 34 tissue samples pigs from the government farm. In 9 pigs, very high level of viral replication indicated that PCV2-SD was detected. Phylogenetic analysis performed with a set of GenBank sequences revealed that the Bhutanese PCV2 strains belonged to the PCV2b genotype and grouped with cluster 1C.