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PMWS Research Archives

Published Friday, December 30, 2011: Pig Journal Volume: 66
PMWS and PCV2 Associated Diseases: Historical Progress and a Reflection about Disease Emergence in Pigs
F. Madec
Post-weaning Multisystemic Wasting Syndrome (PMWS) was first described in 1996 in North America, and soon spread worldwide. The pig industry and scientific community witnessed the devastating consequences with dismay. Intensive research was carried out throughout the world.A virus named Porcine Circovirus type 2 (PCV2) was detected in the damaged tissues of affected pigs and considered as the causative infectious agent of the disease. Some genetic changes in the virus have been observed over the years. However, additional conditions were required to obtain clinical disease and the crucial role of the environment offered to the pig was clearly apparent. Thus, infection with PCV2 must be distinguished from clinical disease, which makes PMWS very different from other potentially devastating diseases. The details of pathogenesis have not yet been fully clarified. However, the way the immune system is challenged in infected pigs seems to be of pivotal importance.Vaccines became available 10 to 11 years after the PMWS crisis began. After discussing the reasons for PMWS emergence, based on personal experience, the author considers disease emergence in pigs in general.

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