Porcine circovirus type 2-associated cerebellar vasculitis in postweaning multisystemic wasting syndrome (PMWS)-affected pigs

F. A. Seeliger, M. L. Brügmann, L. Krüger, I. Greiser-Wilke, J. Verspohl, J. Segalés, W. Baumgärtner

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35 Citations (Scopus)


Porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) is associated with several syndromes in growing pigs, including postweaning multisystemic wasting syndrome and porcine dermatitis and nephropathy syndrome. In the present study, a previously undescribed neurovascular disorder associated with a PCV2 infection is described. Sixteen pigs showed clinical signs of wasting and neurologic deficits. Acute hemorrhages and edema of cerebellar meninges and parenchyma due to a necrotizing vasculitis resulted in degeneration and necrosis of the gray and white matter. Few to numerous PCV2 DNA and antigen-bearing endothelial cells were detected in affected areas of the brain using in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry. Conventional histochemical stains, as well as the detection of caspase 3 activity and DNA strand breaks by the terminal transferase dUTP nick end labeling assay, showed numerous apoptotic endothelial cells in the vascular lesions observed. Sequencing of various brain-derived PCV2-specific amplicons revealed a strong identity between different isolates and an 89 to 100% identity to previous isolates. The phylogenetic tree showed that there was no clustering of isolates correlating to clinical signs or geographic distribution. This previously undescribed PCV2-associated neurologic disease has features of both postweaning multisystemic wasting syndrome and, to a lesser extent, porcine dermatitis and nephropathy syndrome. The available evidence suggests that direct virus-induced apoptosis of endothelial cells plays a role in the pathogenesis of this unusual PCV2-associated cerebellar vasculitis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)621-634
JournalVeterinary Pathology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2007


  • Apoptosis
  • Cerebellum
  • Circovirus
  • PCV2
  • Porcine
  • Vasculitis


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