Porcine circovirus 2 immunology and viral evolution

Tuija Kekarainen, Joaquim Segalés

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


© The Author(s). 2018. Porcine circovirus 2 (PCV2) has and is still causing important economic losses to pig industry. This is due to PCV2-systemic disease (PCV2-SD), formerly known as postweaning multi-systemic wasting syndrome (PMWS), which increases mortality rates and slows down the growth of the animals, as well as other conditions collectively included within the so-called porcine circovirus diseases (PCVD). PCV2-SD affected pigs are considered to be immunosuppressed, with severe lymphocyte depletion and evidence of secondary infections. However, PCV2-infected pigs not developing the disease are able to mount humoral and cellular immune responses and clear the virus or limit the infection. On the contrary, insufficient amounts of neutralizing antibodies have been linked to increased PCV2 replication, severe lymphoid lesions and development of PCV2-SD. Central role in controlling PCV2 infection are played by the antigen specific memory T cells. These cells persist long term post-infection or vaccination and are able to expand rapidly after recall antigen recognition. Most farms in the main pig producing countries are applying vaccination against PCV2 to prevent the disease and improve the farm performance. Vaccines do not induce sterilizing immunity and PCV2 keeps on circulating even in farms applying vaccination. This, together with the high mutation rate of PCV2, world-wide fluctuations in the genotype dominance and emergence of novel genetic variants, warrant close molecular survey of the virus in the field.
Original languageEnglish
Article number17
JournalPorcine health management
Publication statusPublished - 19 Nov 2015


  • Immunity
  • Pig
  • Porcine circovirus 2 (PCV2)
  • Virus evolution


Dive into the research topics of 'Porcine circovirus 2 immunology and viral evolution'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this