Phylogenetic networks to study the origin and evolution of porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) in Cuba

Lester J. Pérez, Heidy Díaz De Arce, Martí Cortey, Patricia Domínguez, Maria I. Percedo, Carmen L. Perera, Joan Tarradas, Maria T. Frías, Joaquim Segalés, Llilianne Ganges, José I. Núñez

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22 Citations (Scopus)


Porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) is the essential etiological infectious agent of postweaning multisystemic wasting syndrome (PMWS), which is considered one of the most economically important swine diseases worldwide. In this study, a comparison between methodologies based on classical phylogenetic trees and networks to infer the origin of PCV2 in Cuba was performed. In addition, the mechanisms supporting the genetic variability of Cuban PCV2 populations were investigated. A retrospective study, using pig sera collected in Cuba from 1993 to 2004, to evaluate the presence of PCV2 genome and PCV2-specific antibodies was also conducted and revealed a lack of evidence of PCV2 infection in Cuban swine from years 1993 to 2004. A total of 24 complete Cuban PCV2 sequences collected between 2005 and 2009 from different regions of the country were analyzed. Three classical methods of phylogenetic analysis, namely Neighbour-Joining, Maximum Parsimony and Bayesian Inference, as well as haplotype network construction, were used. Whereas the classical phylogenetic trees suggested different origins for the Cuban PCV2 strains, the haplotype network revealed a direct connection between all the Cuban sequences in agreement with the obtained epidemiological and viral sequence data. Moreover, the importation of pigs carried out in 2005 from the Quebec-Ontario region, Canada, seems to be the most likely origin of PCV2 in Cuba. Likewise, the genetic variability of Cuban PCV2 sequences was supported by geographic segregation and positive selection pressure with estimated rates of nucleotide substitution on the order of 3.12×10 -3 and 6.57×10 -3 substitutions/site/year, which are closer to those reported for RNA viruses. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-254
JournalVeterinary Microbiology
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 5 Aug 2011


  • Classical phylogenetic trees
  • Geographic segregation
  • Phylogenetic networks
  • Porcine circovirus 2
  • Selection pressure


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