Identification of an Emerging Recombinant Cluster in PCV2

Investigating Porcine Circovirus (PCV) Type 2 viruses in China, Beijing-based researchers found PCV2b to be the predominant genotype in mainland China in 2009 and 2010, with PCV2b-1C within the PCV-2b genotype an emerging predominant subtype. They classified five strains in a novel cluster, along with PCV2a and PCV2b.
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PCV2 is continuously evolving through point mutation and genome recombination, report L. Cai and colleagues at the China Animal Disease Control Center in Beijing, China.

In their study, published earlier this year in the journal, Virus Research, they explain that genetic affiliations of 40 PCV2 strains were determined by amplification, sequencing and phylogenetic analyses during the nationwide molecular epidemiology investigation from 2009 to 2010 in mainland China.

The results revealed that PCV2b was the predominant genotype in mainland China from 2009 to 2010 and PCV2b-1C within PCV-2b genotype was an emerging predominant subtype. More interestingly, five strains (09HaiN-1, 09HaiN-2, 10AH, 10GX and 10QH) were classified into a novel cluster along with the two main PCV2 genotypes PCV2a and PCV2b.

Further analyses revealed that this novel cluster arose from recombination between PCV2a and PCV2b stains within the ORF2 gene. Moreover, BLAST search on NCBI web site revealed that PCV2 strains of the novel cluster also emerged in Thailand, Indonesia and Laos, indicating that the novel cluster of PCV2 has also been circulating in some other Asian countries.

Cai and co-authors say this study is the first using comprehensive analyses to demonstrate a cluster of PCV2 strains derived from the same type of inter-genotypic recombination pattern. The findings provide valuable information on PCV2 evolution, they add.


Cai L., Ni J., Xia Y., Zi Z., Ning K., Qiu P., Li X., Wang B., Liu Q., Hu D., Yu X., Zhou Z., Zhai X., Han X. and Tian K. 2012. Identification of an emerging recombinant cluster in porcine circovirus type 2. Virus Res. Apr;165(1):95-102. Epub 2012 Jan 24.

Further Reading

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Find out more information on Post-Weaning Multisystemic Wasting Syndrome (PMWS) by clicking here.

September 2012
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