Experimental inoculation of porcine circoviruses type 1 (PCV1) and type 2 (PCV2) in rabbits and mice

Josefina Quintana, Mònica Balasch, Joaquim Segalés, Maria Calsamiglia, Gabriela M. Rodríguez-Arrioja, Juan Plana-Durán, Mariano Domingo

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The objective of this work was to investigate the susceptibility of rabbits and mice experimentally inoculated with porcine circoviruses type 1 (PCV1) and type 2 (PCV2) to infection and development of disease and/or lesions. Forty six New Zealand rabbits and 50 ICR-CD1 mice were both divided into two groups comprising PCV1 and PCV2 inoculated animals, and a third group inoculated with non-infected cell culture medium. Rabbits were inoculated intranasally while mice were inoculated intraperitoneally. Clinical signs and body weights were recorded at the start of the experiment and at necropsy. Animals were bled, euthanised and necropsied at days 0, 3, 7, 10, 14 and 20 post-inoculation and samples were collected for histopathological, serological, in situ hybridisation and PCR analysis. No clinical signs or gross and microscopic lesions compatible with PCV2 infections such as those seen in pigs were observed. No presence of PCV2 nucleic acid was detected in rabbits and mice by in situ hybridisation. Only one mouse inoculated with PCV1 seroconverted on day 20 PI. PCV1 and PCV2 genome was detected in serum by PCR in mice inoculated with each porcine circovirus, while rabbits were negative for both viral types. These studies indicated that porcine circoviruses did not cause any disease or microscopic lesions in inoculated rabbits and mice during the experimental period. However, intraperitoneally inoculated mice might have harboured PCV2 in circulation without evidence of viral replication.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-237
JournalVeterinary Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2002


  • In situ hybridisation
  • Mice
  • Polymerase chain reaction
  • Porcine circovirus
  • Rabbit


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