Previous studies have described a "litter effect" associated with mortality in postweaning multisystemic wasting syndrome (PMWS) affected farms. The main objective of this study was to evaluate litter mortality in different PMWS affected farms and to characterize it in relation to three variables of the sow: parity, porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) infectious status and PCV2 antibody titres. The study was performed in seven farms that experienced PMWS in nurseries and/or fattening areas. Fifteen sows from each farm were randomly selected from the same farrowing batch. Serum samples were analyzed for antibodies to PCV2 and for genomic detection of PCV2. Four piglets from each sow (60 piglets per farm) were selected and ear-tagged at birth. Out of 420 initial piglets, 104 (25%) died. Sixty three of them (60%) were necropsied, and 40 (63%) diagnosed as PMWS based on case definition criteria. Our results show that sow PCV2 viremia was significantly related to piglet mortality since more piglets per litter died from viremic than from non-viremic sows. Additionally, a significantly greater proportion of animals died from sows that had low antibody titres against PCV2 (39% vs. 18% from sows with medium to high antibody titres). The present study, of exploratory nature, confirms previous results and further characterizes the so called "litter effect" by establishing that the sow PCV2 status had a significant effect on litter mortality in PMWS affected farms. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
- Concurrent infectious diseases
- Litter effect
- Porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2)
- Postweaning multisystemic wasting syndrome (PMWS)