Characterization of shedding patterns of Porcine circovirus types 2a and 2b in experimentally inoculated mature boars

D.M. Madson, N. Pal, P.G. Halbur, T. Opriessnig, S. Ramamoorthy, X.-J. Meng, C. Kuster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Porcine circovirus-2 (PCV-2) is an economically important swine pathogen and causes PCV-associated disease (PCVAD) in pigs worldwide. Currently, 2 genotypes of PCV-2, PCV-2a and -2b, are circulating in U.S. swine herds. The objectives of the current study were to evaluate the amount of PCV-2 DNA present in semen over time, compare and correlate incidence and amount of PCV-2 present in semen samples to that present in serum samples and blood swabs, and determine if there are differences in shedding patterns between PCV-2a and -2b. Fifteen 7-month-old PCV-2-na'ive Landrace boars (Sus scrofa) were randomly allocated to 3 treatment groups. The boars in group 1 (n = 3) served as negative controls, and those in groups 2 (n = 6) and 3 (n = 6) were intranasally and intramuscularly inoculated with PCV-2a and -2b, respectively. Semen, serum, and blood swab samples were collected up to 90 days postinoculation (DPI), and necropsies were performed on DPI 23, 48, and 90. Larger quantities of both PCV-2a and -2b DNA were detected earlier in serum and blood swab samples than in raw semen of experimentally inoculated boars. The incidence and duration of presence of PCV-2 DNA in semen varied among boars; however, intermittent shedding was not observed. In all sex glands, PCV-2 DNA was detected by polymerase chain reaction; however, PCV-2 antigen was not detected by immunohistochemistry, and PCV-2 had no effect on sperm morphology. Differences in shedding patterns between PCV-2a and -2b were not observed under the study conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)725-734
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2008


  • Animals
  • Blood/virology
  • Circoviridae Infections/veterinary
  • Circovirus/isolation & purification
  • DNA, Single-Stranded/genetics
  • DNA, Single-Stranded/isolation & purification
  • DNA, Viral/genetics
  • DNA, Viral/isolation & purification
  • Genome, Viral
  • Male
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Semen/virology
  • Swine/virology
  • Swine Diseases/virology
  • Virus Shedding/physiology

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