© 2018, The Author(s). Porcine circovirus 2 (PCV-2) is a virus characterized by a high evolutionary rate, promoting the potential emergence of different genotypes and strains. Despite the likely relevance in the emergence of new PCV-2 variants, the subtle evolutionary patterns of PCV-2 at the individual-host level or over short transmission chains are still largely unknown. This study aimed to analyze the within-host genetic variability of PCV-2 subpopulations to unravel the forces driving PCV-2 evolution. A longitudinal weekly sampling was conducted on individual animals located in three farms after the first PCV-2 detection. The analysis of polymorphisms evaluated throughout the full PCV-2 genome demonstrated the presence of several single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) especially in the genome region encoding for the capsid gene. The global haplotype reconstruction allowed inferring the virus transmission network over time, suggesting a relevant within-farm circulation. Evidences of co-infection and recombination involving multiple PCV-2 genotypes were found after mixing with pigs originating from other sources. The present study demonstrates the remarkable within-host genetic variability of PCV-2 quasispecies, suggesting the role of the natural selection induced by the host immune response in driving PCV-2 evolution. Moreover, the effect of pig management in multiple genotype coinfections occurrence and recombination likelihood was demonstrated.
|Publication status||Published - 1 Dec 2018|