Porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) remains the main causative viral pathogen of porcine circovirus-associated diseases (PCVAD) of great economic importance in pig industry globally. This present study aims at determining the occurrence of the viral pathogen in swine herds of the Province.
The data obtained revealed that 15.93% of the screened samples (54/339) from the swine herds of the studied areas were positive for PCV2; while the severity of occurrence of the viral pathogen as observed at farm level ranges from approximately 5.6 to 60% in the studied farms. The majority (15 out of 17 = 88%) of the analyzed sequences were found clustering with other PCV2b strains in the phylogenetic analysis. More interestingly, two other sequences obtained were also found clustering within PCV2d genogroup, which is presently another fast-spreading genotype with observable higher virulence in global swine herds.
This is the first report of PCV2 in swine herds of the Province and the first detection of PCV2b and PCV2d in South African swine herds. It follows the first reported case of PCV2a in an outbreak of porcine multisystemic wasting syndrome (PMWS) in Gauteng Province, South Africa more than one decade ago. This finding confirmed the presence of this all-important viral pathogen in pigs of the region; which could result in a serious outbreak of PCVAD and huge economic loss at the instances of triggering factors if no appropriate measures are taken to effectively curb its spread.